[font "Times New Roman" [center [b Hero] is the only one [b Villain] trusts to stop her. After all, Hero is fast, efficient, smart, and strong. They've been going at it for more than five years now.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center Stealing the Mona Lisa? [b Hero] was there. Assassinating North Korean officials? She was there too. Planting bombs on a new NASA spacecraft? Caught red-handed. [b Villain] has been to jail more times than anyone can count, but there isn't one on the face of the Earth that can hold her.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center He first surfaced somewhere in the States, garnering followers to end the age of villains and to punish the "inadequate" heroes who can't keep them under control. His movement stirred up a worldwide frenzy.]
[font "Times New Roman" [center Two weeks after his initial announcement, he had a lineup of ten well-known villains and three heroes. He publicly executed all 13.]]
[center [pic https://img.clipartxtras.com/37c27e46ac43eb60b11dda2362dc58d7_monochrome-demon-tumblr-tumblr-devil-drawing_416-234.jpeg]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center First, there was panic. Then there was outcry. Now there is fear.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center Heroes and Villains alike are being reported to Devil and his followers. Some heroes are incarcerated, some are killed, and all Villains are publicly executed. There has been a steep drop in crime worldwide, especially the States where Devil began. Even petty criminals have ducked their heads and run.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center [b Villain] didn't much care for the theatrics and truly didn't believe Devil was even real. Mid-heist in a vault of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, [b Hero] showed up. Started doing all her hero shit, as usual.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center Devil himself came next, spouted some Bible scriptures, and proceeded to seriously maim [b Hero].]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center For once, there was fear in [b Villain's] heart. She barely escaped Devil with her [b Hero] under her arm.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [b Notable:] The [b Hero] and [b Villain] are main characters, but [i Devil] is a very important (obviously) side character. Genres include, action, adventure, suspense, superheroes , etc. Feel free to indulge my gay heart with eventual romance. I expect, at the risk of sounding like an asshole with lack of better words, someone literate. Pictures preferred to be real if used - diverse cast sorely wanted. Choose your preferred role and don't hesitate to PM me with questions, concerns, and requests for elaboration.]
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"How is it my job?" Fulmina asked. What made Scorpion think she was a slut? She walked around the room naked once while off her mind in pain, under the assumption the enemy had kidnapped her for some nefarious reason, and suddenly she was the seductress? She'd do what she had to do, but she wasn't that kind of woman.
Somehow, she felt like Scorpion had gotten exactly what she [i didn't] want the woman to get out of her short explanation, but she couldn't be bothered to correct it. If Scorpion misunderstood, well, it helped her out in the long run when they became enemies again, didn't it?
She grabbed her suit and took it over to the machine. The bobbin was already spun and there was some thread on the top pin, so it looked like it was ready to go. Black thread, but eh, it was close enough. It'd look ugly if it pulled through the silver, but it worked. Fulmina turned her suit inside out and ran it through the machine, turned it over and ran it again. Flipping it right side out, she gave it a quick look-over. Hmm... yep, looked good. Good enough for now.
"Why are we dressing up?" she asked, poking through Scorpion's closet. Mostly designer clothes. She picked a slightly-flirty, slightly-conservative off-the-shoulder white blouse with peasant sleeves and a pair of high-waist faded jean shorts. Looked comfy enough.
Lightning thief? "Aren't you the thief?" she asked flatly. "In any case, I can bring you along, don't worry." She didn't do it often. What did she need to bring someone along with her for? They could get there on their own, usually, or they weren't powerful enough to help her when she got there. She could do it, though. It would probably be fine. Probably.
"Are we going there now? I might not be able to get us immediately over the house. It depends where the nearest storm is," she said. She usually took a cab or ran or flashed over, depending on how far the storm was from the fight at hand. They might want to head over a bit early so they could get over to his house without being too flashy.
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Fuck no I'm not flirting with that piece of shit,"] Salena declared defiantly with a disgusted snort. [b "That's your job. [i If] it comes to that. Might not."]
At the mention of a sewing machine, which she realized she needed too, she rummaged through her closet some more. No, this place didn't have it... The Indian woman conjured a portal and walked through it, leaving it open as she walked through her Tokyo rooftop apartment. She searched through it for a couple minutes--flipping through closets, under tables, in cabinets, where the fuck was it?-- before finding it and crossing back over into the Icelandic lair.
[b "Here it is,"] she announced absently, sitting the sewing machine down on the bed. [b "Capacitors sound fuckin' cool. Electric shuriken, huh? Wish I knew how to throw those fuckers."]
Salena padded back over to her wardrobe to continue searching through it. Fulmina's sharp-edged words caught her by surprise, causing the villain's eyes to lock with brown. [b "Honestly... I don't know what the hell you just said to me, but okay. Whatever floats, my love."] She shrugged and turned back to what she was doing. Maybe forcing Fulmina into something that wasn't her style would make her look more awkward and out of place than something she wanted to wear and had the actual chance of pulling off. She checked the time. They needed to hurry...
[b "We can't sneak into his house and risk raising alarms prematurely,"] Scorpion told her companion lightly so as not to seem confrontational... for once. [b "It'll fuck everything up and Devil might catch onto us before we're ready."] She gave up looking for clothes for the other woman and just retired over by her weapons case. [b "Look, just go in there and pick something out. I'm really not a personal shopper for anyone other than myself."]
Scorpion opened the case and leaned over it, running scenarios in her head. What would she need, what could she sneak, how likely was it she'd use a full-size rifle-- She tapped her chin thoughtfully. Fuck maybe she'd just get all of it ready for transport. After all, all she needed to do was open a portal and grab them.
[b "Yo, lightning thief, can you carry two people? Or do I need to get a plane? 'Cause if I run the risk of getting electrocuted or some shit I'm out." The thought of skin burning and hair singeing sent chills down her spine.]
[i not again]
And how long would a plane ride take? She had a pilot in mind, a friend, but she hadn't contacted him in the longest... he'd charge her out the ass just for the danger alone, not including fuel, labor... Fuck. Being a hero was expensive. No wonder Fulmina didn't have any goddamn money.]
She just gave Scorpion a look. Did she think she could just carry a gun through Ireland? Most places banned guns, the crazy must-be-American. Sure, they banned swords, too, but her sword was special. She could call it to her from anywhere. It didn't much matter if she had to leave it at home.
Besides, guns killed people. With her sword, she could use the flat to deal the final blow, or shock them with her electricity. Guns didn't give her that option to pull away at the last second. They weren't her style, and she didn't intend to use them. Ever, if possible.
"I think I'll be fine without," she said primly. She didn't need guns.
"You're going to flirt with him?" she asked. It was a rather stereotypical attempt, but whatever worked, she supposed. And if the Devil was going to attack him inside his house, then they'd need to know what his house looked like. Not just for Scorpion's power, but just in general, so they knew the layout, the blind corners, the open areas where they could mount a decent fight.
She wandered over to the remnants of her suit. It wasn't that bad, all things considered. The bloodstains weren't great, but the tears weren't horrible. "Do you have a sewing machine?" she asked, peering at the rents and examining their edges. They were decently even, given they'd been cut by a random stroke. If she had a sewing machine--and what super didn't?--Fulmina could fix it up right quick.
"Capacitors are..." she hesitated, not sure how much Scorpion didn't know. "They hold electric charge, and can blow it out immediately, so think of like... electric shuriken." It wasn't even remotely accurate, but it was the best she could come up with, and it got across the point she wanted it to.
She wrinkled her nose. "Lace is itchy," she said. Honestly, she didn't like dressing up in general, not lace, not silk, not nothing. She'd rather be comfortable than look good. Besides, she already looked good enough.
After a beat, she gave Scorpion a hard look. "I do not seduce men. Men are seduced by me," she said coldly. She wasn't going to debase herself like that. Did Scorpion really think she was so... pathetic, as to need to make [i men] feel validated to get what she wanted? She could get into Lucky's house on her own, without having to pretend like she cared about his 'ego.' She wasn't that kind of woman.
[font "Times New Roman" Salena shrugged as she continued to make breakfast for one. The pancakes paired with the eggs didn't necessarily make for anything healthy, but it sure would taste good. She was proud of herself.
[b "I asked because I don't want to give you a gun just for you to fuckin' shoot me in the back for the sole reason of you being a shitty shot. It's a good skill to have, though. I'll give you some lessons,"] she added after a moment of thinking. A small laugh accompanied it. [b "For free and fear for my own safety."]
Teaching Fulmina to shoot something other than lightning bolts might be a challenge. Scorpion had always had to learn something offensive since her power could be seen as more defensive and evasive than anything. So she'd gotten the combat lessons, the shooting lessons, the knife-fighting lessons. Anything she could to make herself competitive in the market as a villain. Even though it was never the fame that was on her mind, it was bound to follow in this profession.
She tapped her fingers on the countertop as she started eating, thinking more about their plan. How much time could they devote to sleeping? Would they be on watches? They couldn't stay in a hotel if they were doing surveillance and Scorpion couldn't open a portal to get them in because it would ruin everything.
[b "Goddamn it, I'm so fuckin'--"] she exclaimed, banging her fist on the counter in sheer excitement. [b "We need to get into the house. A narcissist like Lucky would have tours for fans, or... or someone who brings girls in. We all know how much he loves a pretty girl. We need to see the inside of the house, or at least I need to. Just once."] She grinned wildly, remembering her food at last. [b "For once a man's ego is helpful."]
The woman finished her plate and bounded off to her room, rummaging around in her closet for a minute. [b "Aaaaand your suit is ripped. In case you didn't remember,"] she called back out to the kitchen. [b "Surprise alliance, I feel you, whatever. What are these 'small capacitors', anyway? And--Fulmina! Are you a lace kinda girl, by any chance? I definitely see it working for you, love."]
Salena grabbed a couple of pieces of clothing and held them up for a moment before running back out to the kitchen and measuring them against the other woman's body. [b "Plan B is to seduce him, so you are plan B, sweetheart."] She took the piece she was holding up and threw it into a portal, measuring the next one instead. [b "Just blink those doe eyes at him and he's gone."]]
Fulmina made a face. Kale, spinach, and vinegar in a smoothie? Yuck. Greens and vinegar were great, but they belonged in salads, not smoothies. Sounded like one of those health fads that'd get debunked in another five minutes. Still, she followed instructions and built the smoothie Scorpion desired, but only enough for one person. She'd make her own smoothie out of stuff that actually tasted good.
The blender grumbled as it ground Scorpion's smoothie into something that looked halfway decent, the milk lending the smoothie a creamy, thick texture. Another quick search found her a tall cup. She poured the smoothie in, then rinsed down the blender and got started on her own concoction: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple, and milk.
"The smoothie is breakfast," she said, pouring hers into a cup. She never ate a heavy breakfast. It slowed her down on the rest of the day if she ate a big, fat meal first thing in the morning. A heavy lunch was what she preferred, then a small dinner. But that was all cultural stuff. Scorpion had to be an American, she just had to.
She nodded. Scorpion was the schemer, after all. "It's both our necks if you cannot," she informed the woman. There was no option other than to trust her. Well, making her own scheme, but she was a better reactive, flexible player than a planner.
Fulmina gave her a look. "You do your thing, and I do mine," she said sternly. She [i could] shoot, sure, but it was far from a strength and more of a spray-and-pray deal. Besides, bullets were terrible for her power. They were too small to hold enough charge to do damage, tended to pass through rather than hit things, and made terrible capacitors in general--and that wasn't even addressing the heat issues. "Though if you would like to come with me to purchase a bulk of small capacitors, I have a ranged weapon in mind..."
The Devil might know their powers, but would he expect Scorpion to attack with electricity? They might have the edge there. "It might be a good idea if we act as though we are not allied," she added to the plan. "It's better if we can use our alliance as a surprise." If the Devil could prepare for their working together, they'd be at a disadvantage. But if he wasn't expecting it, they could use it to attack him when he least expected it.
[font "Times New Roman" The woman known internationally as 'Scorpion' found herself perplexed, continuously, by the idea of using milk in a smoothie. She'd never done it before because it seemed weird; nor had she ever made a milkshake, so the difference escaped her. Personally, she was rather partial to just using pineapple juice. Fulmina actually coming in the kitchen to help was unexpected, but... nice in a sense.
[b "I want strawberries, blueberries, bananas, oats, spinach, a spoonful--[i only a spoonful]--of apple cider vinegar, and some kale. Feeling fruity today."] She nodded to herself, mumbling alone for a moment as she went over to a pantry near the counter to pull out some oats for the smoothie.
The kitchen consisted of a two-door fridge, an island with pots and pans hanging above it, an electric stove, a double sink, two pantries, and lots of cabinet and counter space between all. It was spacious, all granite counters and wooden floors. It could be seen as state of the art somewhere else, but here, to Salena, it was very basic.
[b "I checked the message from our now mutual friend Saint."] The woman continued through the kitchen to pull out eggs, pancake mix, cheese, several bowls, and two pans. [b "Before I start--you want some breakfast? Not the healthiest but we don't have much time to go shopping."]
She poured pancake mix into a bowl, adding milk into it after a moment. Her wrist worked furiously to whisk it into a good texture. [b "So the Lucky prick lives in Ireland. He's a big-name hero who doesn't hide his face, so he has his own private security detail as well as fans outside his gates twenty-four-goddamn-seven. I have never been there so I can't get us there."] Salena took a moment to count in her head, tallying numbers with her fingers in the air before her as she mumbled numbers and times. [b "Ughhhh,"] she sighed in irritation as she poured some of the batter into a pan over a hot eye on the stove. [b "Devil will attack in... I'll say... eighty hours. Rounded down and adjusted for time zones. We need to arrive in Ireland today by two to allow time to begin surveillance. Do that for four hours, it'll be six, eat, two hours..."] She trailed off into her head again, cogs and wheels spinning. While this was the most boring part of the heist, it was also the most crucial. [b "We need Lucky as bait. We can't tell him he's bait because he's a bitch and he'll flake. So it needs to feel very real when Devil comes in."]
Her gaze traveled to her companion. [b "You did your hero shit, and now it's my turn. This is what [i I'm] good at."] Golden eyes burned with mischief, but also something else... something else not so easily placed. [b "I'm not asking you to trust me. To be honest, I'm not asking shit. What I'm saying is let me do what I do best and maybe we'll both live."] She turned back to the stove to flip the pancake, muttering a few more numbers under her breath. [b "And I was thinking: do you know how to shoot? All you ever use is that big ass sword."]]
Sleep? But who had time for sleep while they were so near to battle? She couldn't imagine it. No, no, she needed her rest. She took a deep breath. But not yet. Not yet.
"Just because I am comfortable in my skin," she said, rolling her eyes. A little nudity never killed anyone. In fact, if Scorpion wanted, she could turn on the television and see boobs on the advertising any time! Maybe she was American. Americans could be so uptight about that kind of thing.
While Scorpion went to shower, she explored the base, looking for a door outside. She'd go work out before she went to bed. When she found one, it was dark outside, nothing like the sunny Japan they'd been in moments before. Fulmina frowned, trying to figure out if that was right. Here was a few hours... ahead, or behind Japan? Well, it had to be right. It was what had happened, wasn't it?
She headed out into the night, jogging at a moderate pace. Late wasn't the best time to work out, but she hadn't for the last few days. It felt good and bad at the same time, her body happy for the motion at last, and yet tiring too quickly, side still achy when she pushed herself. It was exactly why she needed to work out. She shook her head and pushed on.
By the time she was done, she was just about ready to pass out. Nothing like a good run to tire you out after staying inside for a few days. Fulmina slipped inside and padded over to the shower. Feeling the sweat slide off made it feel like she was strong again, in control again, moreso than anything else. Scorpion was sleeping in the bed, so she stole a t-shirt and tiptoed off to the couch to catch some sleep.
When she woke, it was to her foe's obnoxiously loud voice. "Ughh," she complained, peeling her eyes open at the inane question. "Of course you can. It is ice cream that makes the milkshake." Wasn't milk a classic component of a protein shake? She didn't like protein powders much, but adding milk as the liquid component to an otherwise veggie-and-fruit smoothie was a nice way to get a boost of protein from a low-carb meal. "Why? Are there smoothies?"
She pushed her hair back and stood, wandering over to the kitchen. With a grunt, she bent down to search the cabinets until she dragged out the blender herself. That found, she started digging in the freezer for frozen fruit. If Scorpion didn't know milk could go in smoothies, it made her dubious of the woman's ability in the kitchen. "I'll make them, what do you want?" she offered.
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Dunno. Phone's dead."] Salena rubbed her wrists as she sauntered away, inspecting her nails along the way. They were in need of a good filing again. [b "You're way too excited, storm chaser. I see that little lightning bolt in your eye."] She raised her eyebrows at the woman pointedly. For someone that identified as the biggest, baddest hero around she was sure super ready to pair with the biggest, baddest villain.
Well, second baddest. Devil knocked her down a peg. She was still a little sore about that.
[b "Get some sleep, Jesus, it's the middle of the night here."] Salena looked over at her stove that read back a glaring LED number she could barely read. Whatever. She had to get up early in the morning anyway. [b "I'm taking a shower if you're interested. I know how much you love to be naked around me."] Her laugh echoed around the lair as she receded into her bathroom, halfheartedly closing the door behind her. Otherwise smooth movements became clumsy in her intoxication.
She stayed in for a long time, washing her hair and otherwise just standing there. This was her first good shower in days; all the other times had been too painful. And now she was running straight back into the fray...
Her services were not free, though. Fulmina would do well to remember that.
[i why do i keep letting her talk me into stupid shit?]
[i because i have nothing better to do than wither away]
[center [size20 - xxx -]]
Salena woke up the next morning around six and prepped for her morning workout, another thing she'd missed doing because of injuries. If she skipped her runs for more than two days she started to feel guilty.
She crept out of bed still yawning and mentally kicking herself, brushed her teeth, put on her running shoes and did her hair, the whole nine. She tried not to wake Fulmina up in the process--mostly because this was a routine she didn't feel like having dampened by the hero's prodding to be a force of good.
Whatever. That shit was old.
[i i was a hero once]
Headphones safely over her ears, the woman opened a portal and stepped through it, landing in a forest near her Icelandic lair. It was beautiful out here--you'd think a place called [i Iceland] wouldn't be so green, but she supposed it was just a very well-kept secret. It was peaceful like this.
Scorpion returned forty-five minutes later, dripping sweat, in the middle of the makeshift living room. The music was still blasting in her ears and her workout was far from over. She padded through the living room until she came to a closet that more or less blended in with the wall. It didn't have a doorknob; Salena had to push it for it to come back out and open. In it she kept other exercise equipment including her pull-up bar and wooden dummy for fighting. It was pretty much just a wooden pillar with wooden 'arms' sticking out. It was used for a type of martial art she wasn't very good at but was very interested in perfecting.
She picked up both items and moved them to her room, attaching the pull-up bar to her door frame and stationing the dummy deeper into the room.
Thirty more minutes passed before she took another shower and redressed for the day. She checked the phone and rolled her eyes at it several times. Now there was a date she could associate with her death. Great.
The woman proceeded to the kitchen to figure out what she wanted to eat. Usually she used this lair as a recovery place so there wasn't much healthy food, which is what she was craving to make a smoothie. She needed to start her pre-heist process. Well, to be fair, it was a process she went through before pretty much any job; it just so happened that heists were her favorite and most common.
Salena rummaged through the fridge some more. Shit. [b "Fulmina! Rise and shine, sleeping beauty, I gotta question... Can you make a smoothie with milk? Isn't it just a milkshake?"] Of course she knew the answer; she just didn't want to accept it. And besides, if she wasn't already up, the hero needed to get up anyway. They had some things in bitter need of discussing.]
Because if they didn't, no one else would! Didn't she get it? She wanted to smack some sense into the other woman, but held herself back. Now was not the time to start a new fight. Now was the time to come together.
When she was looking for it, it was kind of obvious. Like a little kid getting bribed into doing what her parents wanted, Scorpion huffed, then started up with some serious snark. It was kind of endearing, in a rebellious way. Not that she actually found Scorpion cute. No, that would mean she was underestimating her longtime foe, and she wouldn't dare do that. It'd be the death of her, for certain.
As long as she was coming, she didn't care what Scorpion thought it was. Her funeral, whatever, as long as there were two of them present for it. "Keep it in [i my] pants," she scoffed. As if Scorpion wasn't the one who was flirting madly with her this whole time. And as far as Scorpion knew, this was just an ordinary hold.
She released Scorpion and stepped back. "And I will fight you every inch of the way," she replied. No way was Scorpion dragging a dirty penny out of her. The woman already had plenty of blood money. She wasn't going to add anything to it.
"When did she say the Devil was going to attack them, tomorrow? Day after?" she asked. "We should figure some techniques out together."
If they were going to work together, they should really do some practicing, scope out the general area, work up a few techniques and tactics. While she could move around with lightning, it was more of a one-and-done kind of thing, while Scorpion had that immediate maneuverability. If they put that together with her electricity... she could already see a few new moves they could pull off. For one, she might be able to pull the idea of projectiles back out of the depths of her armory. It hadn't worked out before because, well, she could only throw them so far, and they could only store so much charge, even when she built mini-capacitors, but if she could use Scorpion's warp points, then all of a sudden she had a sneak attack/mine laying technique.
[font "Times New Roman" [b "We're two little kids and you want us to fight the biggest kid on the playground? A kid who, for the sake of the fucking metaphor, has a damn gun! How does that make sense?"]
The Indian woman couldn't wrap her head around what wasn't making sense about what she was saying. It was like Fulmina only spoke hero or something. She couldn't see reason, only 'heroic deaths' or something else stupid. What sense did it make to go directly [i at] him? Not only would he see it coming, but he'd murder them. He'd make a show out of it. Maybe their deaths would be a two-part documentary.
Her tongue found the spot in her mouth that was still empty. Fuckin' tooth. He knocked her tooth out without even trying. The gold one was still being made and had a few more days expected before it would be ready. She was growing impatient constantly feeling this empty space...
She caught onto Fulmina's next move before she carried it out, but the alcohol slowed her down. All of her struggling was half-assed and insincere. Scorpion still persisted for a few more moments before giving up and just waiting for it to be over. Instead, the Italian just got closer and closer until it felt like she was less than an inch away from being directly on top of her. Honestly, it felt familiar. Breath intermingling with her own, warm hands on her wrist with just enough pressure to restrain but not enough to hurt, that determination in Fulmina's eyes.
She huffed. Pulling out all the stops, huh?
[b "First of all,"] Salena began, adopting the same tone and volume as her companion as she flexed her hands, [b "there's no need to be this close. Jesus, sweetheart, I'm starting to think you have a thing for me... but I digress. I [i will] come"] she paused to allow a little chuckle to escape at her cleverness [b "to your funeral. You get nowhere without me."] Scorpion watched Fulmina's eyes travel to her lips; they were too close for her not to. [b "Keep it in your pants, love."]
The woman was tempted to headbutt Fulmina to get away, but her head was already feeling a bit heavy from the wine. She just rested there against the wall, her eyes half-lidded and dilated. [b "I know I'm the only chance you have. And trust me, I'm gonna take you for all you got."] She shrugged as best she could in the current position. [b "Gotta keep up my brand."]]
She waved it away. Yeah, yeah, she'd done all that, but was she going to stop here instead of seeing it through? "I appreciate it, I do, I am very grateful. But we can't stop here. It'll all be meaningless if we don't chase out the poison at the root."
How could Scorpion not see it? How could she not? "I [i don't] want to die. That's exactly why we must go after him, [i now!]" The longer they left him, the more he killed, the worse the situation got. Things would get irreparable if they didn't stop him soon. And who else would stop him? She couldn't even do it alone, and she had to be one of the strongest heroes.
She sighed. Scorpion was so hard to read. One second all suave, the next bursting out in anger. What was up with that? She'd thought it was just banter when they'd been fighting, but it just hadn't stopped. Did Scorpion just love banter?
Or... was it...
Scorpion had saved her life. Hadn't seemed to mind when she walked around naked. No, she remembered a glance, for sure. And what if it wasn't banter, but flirting? Sweet Mother Mary, was the woman in love with her?
Fulmina looked at Scorpion with new eyes. So much was falling into place, all of a sudden. Everything made sense. And... and what she was about to do was horrible, un-heroic, and terribly manipulative, but she needed to get the job done. They [i couldn't] let the Devil run rampant, and if she wanted to take him out, she needed help. Help that she wasn't sure she could get anywhere else. She had to. She had no options.
She moved closer to Scorpion, quickly enough to be mindful to catch any reaction the woman might have. Moving quickly, she caught her by her wrists and pushed her up against the wall. It was a familiar maneuver. How many times had she caught Scorpion like this? And she'd wondered why it seemed to be easiest like this, when they got all close. Now it made sense.
They were [i close]. Close enough to smell the wine on the other woman's breath. Close enough to feel the heat of her body, the heaving of her breasts grazing hers as they breathed. Gazing deep into her eyes, Scorpion let her writhe a bit, waiting for the perfect time.
Then she spoke.
"I [i will] go," she whispered quietly. "I will go. I will not let the Devil continue this reign of terror. If you do not want me to die, you [i will] be there." She hovered, watching the other woman's face, eyes flicking to her lips. Was she receptive? Or had she read her wrong?
[font "Times New Roman" Salena pushed Fulmina's unused cup into the sink lazily, watching the liquid slide down the drain with mild tipsy amusement.
[i Do you want to be hunted down, or do you want to be the hunter?]
[i i want to live]
The hero grabbing her by the chin snapped Scorpion back into the present. At first her stare was blank before they could focus on Fulmina's eyes.
[i pretty brown eyes]
[i he'll rip them out]
[b "Capture him?"] A thick eyebrow raised, golden eyes narrowing. [b "I'll kill that son of a bitch."] Her mouth broke into a smile as she looked the woman up and down. [b "What are you so close for, anyway? You wanna recruit me that bad? Not that I'm complaining."] Salena winked for emphasis, settling back into her own space when the curly-haired woman stepped back.
The hero's tactics took a turn for the aggressive. She wasn't saying anything Scorpion hadn't heard on the radio or news or read in the papers--shit, even on the blogs. All villains are cowards, yeah yeah. Only care about themselves, sure whatever. Had no extrinsic motives besides chaos, alright.
[b "What do you even really fuckin' know about Scorpion, princess? You [i overestimate] me? Give me a goddamn break."] Her tone became more irritable, flirtation completely out of her system now. That struck a nerve... now she was angry. [b "I can't think of anyone but myself but I saved your [i life] when that shit was in danger. Not only that, but I got you back to full health, didn't I? [i And] to top it all the fuck off, I paid with my money for you to get information to sign your own death warrant."] She paused for a moment before adding [b "Yeah, in my head it's my fuckin' money. Fuck off, hero."]
With the last sentence she pushed Fulmina away from her. Her face was contorted into a snarl; eyes flaming and wild, adrenaline ready at any moment to pump through her. Now she was in the mood to fight.
It wasn't that she wanted understanding from Fulmina. She couldn't give less of a shit about that. What she wanted was her credit. Not a 'good job' sticker or anything; acknowledgment by itself would be perfectly fine.
[i if nobody cares about me now, nobody will care when i'm dead]
Salena turned away from her former foe to regain her composure, but kept her in her peripheral vision in case she decided she wanted retribution. [b "You heroes are all the same. You want to die for honor or some stupid shit like that. Wanna act like you're not scared, like you're not being stupid. And you want [i me] to fall for it."]
Her disgusted scoff ricocheted off the cold walls of the lair. It wasn't much, but it was home, and a place she had been comfortable bringing Fulmina to. Fulmina, her archnemesis, her foe, her enemy, her unofficial assigned hero. The one who was supposed to stop her at all costs; shit, even kill her if necessary. She didn't even hesitate. She pushed forward and saved the woman's life... and why? [i Why] was it so important to do it in that moment?
[i why did my body move like that? i could've disappeared. devil could've gotten his pound of flesh]
[i and now she wants us to die together]]
Wine? She didn't want the wine. Who needed wine when there was a world to save? How could she waste her time with such stupidity?
Besides, it wasn't a good vintage or a good year. It was an American wine, for fuck's sake. Not Italian! Not even Greek or Spanish! Expensive didn't always mean good. Scorpion had money, but she couldn't buy taste, it seemed. Fulmina smirked at that. It was good to know she had at least one thing on her longtime nemesis. "Drink it, you seem to be enjoying it."
She rolled her eyes at Scorpion. "I know you aren't that dim," she said, shaking her head. "He's going to hunt you down no matter where you go. Do you want to be hunted down, or do you want to be the hunter?"
Because those were their options. Scorpion could run, but the Devil would hunt her down. He'd never let prey go before. What made her think he'd do it this time? Besides, when someone's stated goal was the destruction of all something, and you were one of those somethings... why did she think he'd just let her go like that? There'd always be places to run... until there weren't. And then what? Then she just died, like the dog she was?
Fulmina grabbed Scorpion's chin and forced her to make eye contact. "You're not being smart. You're being scared. It is different. Don't think with your heart. There is only one way this ends. We capture the Devil, or he kills us. Running away only prolongs the inevitable. We fight him, we face him on our terms, then we stand a chance of surviving this, no [i winning] this battle."
She let go and stepped back. "Or perhaps Scorpion wants that. Perhaps she is a scared little coward who can't think of anyone beyond herself. or any day beyond the present. Perhaps I've been overestimating her this whole time." Fulmina crossed her arms. Was Scorpion really such a coward? She was a villain, so of course she was more cowardly than her, but honestly? This was pathetic. She wasn't even thinking straight! It was a clear logical decision, and she couldn't even see it.
[font "Times New Roman" [b "'We' is a lot of people,"] the villain scoffed dismissively as she sipped on her third glass of wine. The weed left a lingering light feeling, but the wine grounded her to the earth again. It felt balanced. She was relaxed for the first time in weeks.
Dead, uninterested eyes followed Fulmina as she animatedly tried to convince the villain to do something selfless. Fuck no. Run into the line of danger for what? To die first in a way no one would even remember lest they wanted to make a lesson out of her? Absolutely not.
And if the Devil [i did] follow her to Hawaii, there were other nice places to go. Plenty of beaches around the world.
The assumption that Scorpion would even be mildly interested in getting her crimes forgotten prompted a loud laugh from the woman. [b "You were choking just fuckin' [i saying] that, sweetheart. Really brightened the mood."] A grin began to form on her sharp features, fingers circling the rim of her glass. [b "You people don't get paid enough for what you do and I'm not losing my life for free. [i You] already owe me twice now."]
Salena raised her eyebrows pointedly, sitting her glass down in the sink and gesturing to Fulmina's for a moment as if to say [i are you gonna waste it?] before just shrugging and retreating back to her room. She rummaged around in the closet for a few moments, looking for the bag she'd last had her phone in. It took several minutes because at this point she was a bit tipsy and the task was thereby harder to accomplish.
Finally she managed to find an Adidas gym bag from her last visit there in Japan somewhere, which had been the day before her heist, so the shit was probably dead... How inconvenient.
[i the heist that broke the camel's fucking back]
[i shit, the gold was worth it, though]
She groaned and mentally chided herself for her own forgetfulness, taking the phone and plugging it up beside her bed. It was one of many, but what she assumed would be the most likely for Saint to contact her one. There was no other way to get to her unless--
No. This would be the one. How they even got her contact information in the first place was beyond her, but she didn't bother to ask. It was just so... Saint.
Salena ruffled her hair, eyes half-lidded, smile lazy and loopy as she walked back into the kitchen. [b "Fulmina, baby, there's really no reason to go. He'll kill you... us... whoever. You wanna die? For all these people--these people who don't give a fuck about you?"] She shook her head violently, eyebrows low now in a serious expression. [b "Fuck that, man. What he did to Atlas and everyone else will be nothing compared to... to what he'll do to us. We got away. I'm not scared... I'm fuckin'... I'm being smart."]
[i i'm fucking terrified]
Who else was going to take care of her family? Even Saint didn't know about them or she was sure it would've been sold to [i someone] at some time. But it wasn't. It hadn't even been brought up. They were alone, probably didn't even know if she was alive...
[i they still need me. i'm not about to die for nothing.]]
Scorpion yanked her through a portal, and that was it; suddenly, she was right back where they'd started, a mysterious lair without enough windows for her to hazard a guess at their location. She sighed. Why couldn't Scorpion be as friendly as Saint? Jeez. The woman was a walking nightmare when it came to communication. No wonder she was a villain. If she'd tried to be a hero, she would've come off wrong, explained poorly, and ended up a villain anyways, that was just the kind of person she was.
First weed, then wine. She felt like a fifteen year old at a house party, for fuck's sake. Was Scorpion trying to show off what a renegade she was? Wow, weed and wine, how impressive. She was truly blown away by the depths of Scorpion's depravity.
"I'm not about to die," she said, shaking her head. "I am going wherever that address points me. We need to stop the Devil."
She looked at Scorpion and her wine bottle. "You can't think he won't follow you to Hawaii," she declared. Scorpion wasn't that dumb. Sure, she probably had a better chance escaping than most villains and heroes, but eventually, there'd be no one left to stand up to him. And that was what worried him most. Not that he would win, but that he'd win the war of entropy, and it would become impossible to fight back.
Fulmina leaned against the countertop and leveled her eyes with Scorpion, looking the other woman in the eye. "You can escape, but remember, he can find you. Or you can stand with me here, now, and we can stop him forever, bring this world back to the way it should be. You don't like being afraid of him all the time, do you?"
No, no, no. She was being stupid. She had to speak the villain's language. What did Scorpion like? What did she want?
"You know," she started thoughtfully, "if you help take down the Devil, I imagine everyone would be quite grateful." Fulmina arched her eyebrows at Scorpion. "They might even be willing to overlook... past crimes."
It pained her to suggest, but it was true. If Scorpion helped her... well, there was even a precedent, wasn't there, for villains swapping over and becoming heroes? Blackjack, for one, he'd had a whole thing with robbing casinos until he'd helped Card Shark take down the mob and rescued those poor girls. There'd been some probation and community service, but he'd been a hero ever since. The idea of Scorpion getting away with her stupid-ass heists hurt her inside, but she couldn't do this alone. The Devil had... something they didn't know about, and they needed to exercise caution until they put him away for good.
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