A Devil Reborn

January 04, 2017:

The Dark Devil is well enough to train, and the Spoiler takes her into the ring for some light sparring.


A cave. With bats. And people who dress like them.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Zatanna Zatara Batman The Winter Soldier


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…


The Batcave.

Now that the Dark Devil has had a day to rest, it's time for brass tacks - or at least a meeting with her trainer. Azalea is currently standing near the room that houses all sorts of Bat gear, near the end of the normal locker rows. Of course, Spoiler's offer to borrow a shirt, at least, was taken up, until she can take a look at what they can outfit her with now that her costume was fried in that last altercation.

And so she waits dutifully on a little bench in front of the locker, side-eyeing the locked vault of Bat-Goodies, and counting the seconds until Spoiler arrives.

Thank God Gotham's been so quiet lately. Spoiler gets her patrol done and returns to the cave, her bike idling to off. Her leg swings over as she dismounts and she makes her way to the locker room.

"Hi. You look like you're feeling better," she says brightly. Her smile is audible in her voice.

Azalea looks up when Spoiler makes her way into the locker room, a hand going up to the back of her neck, and that predatory gaze, the one that cuts right through - it looks down and towards the lockers after giving a nod.

"A lot better, thanks. Just.. eager, you know? There's someone out there. Two someone's, really, that I need to track down. Bucky the metal armed killer, and this.. Nazi guy. I hope our training won't preclude some of that.

She stands so that she's able to look at Spoiler head on again, giving a lean in against the locker. "Think in the meantime it would be alright if I piece together a new uniform? I won't lie, Spoiler, I'm out. Completely out." It might seem hard to tell what she means until she makes a motion like she's pulling her pockets inside out. "Money escapes me."

Spoiler heads to her locker, again not sure where that twinge of Leer-Radar is coming from, but knowing that it fades means she continues on without hesitation.

"Yeah. I get that. Wanting to get out there, making a difference, bring the bad guys into justice, it's all great…." Steph pauses to unclip her belt, opening her locker to hang it up.

"But we have to be careful. We have to make sure that when we bring them in we can make it stick, or else.. we're just stuck picking up the mess over and over and over…" Her cape is pulled off next and hung up.

"Well, we'll spare and work on form and then you'll patrol with me. We have to find more information first and fore most. And that's so frustrating. It really is. It's worse than waiting for Christmas morning," she's saying as she's tugging her gloves off. Spoiler pauses then, face and mask turning to regard Az pull out her pockets.

"….Here." Spoiler says, grabbing a set of her own athletic cloths, and holding it out. "Put this on. Let's spare until it's a more normal time. And then we'll go get pancakes…" And shopping. Becuase Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl… Once the clothes are taken, Steph turns to pull off her mask and toss back the hood that's attached to her shulders and clipped to the mask.

Azalea eyes the clothes as Spoiler takes off her cape and gloves and then her mask. There's a twinge inside when that amount of trust is shown to her, to reveal who she is. Then, she realizes.. she really has no idea who she is. Just another face in the crowd.

Oh well, still, it's nice not to have to stare into a mask. "Sure. Pancakes."

Actually, pancakes sound pretty great. She mostly only eats Ramen now adays, and sometimes one of the the places she used to waitress at will kick her a free meal. It's a hard knock life when an evil spirit wants to share your body and flush it all down the toilet.

The Dark Devil wastes no time in stripping down and pulling on the under-armor style clothing, leaving her barefoot, but otherwise feeling more whole than she was.

"After you."

It is a measure of trust, actually. Not like what she went through, getting to know her trainer in both lives and then figuring it out later. Trust. It's important. Stephanie tugs off a few extra things, leaving her in the underarmor of her suit and she makes her way to the sparring ring. Her blonde hair is in a french braid, messy from the night's activities. she turns to Az, setting up.

"Ok. Your ribs were tender earlier, so we'll keep this easy and light. Just a workout, not full contact. Okay?"

As they step into the ring The Dark Devil's gaze slides long Spoiler's back with new attention, but it isn't the brief leer she might have given her before. It's something else. A polarizing scrutiny, her head tilting as she watches muscle move beneath clothing.

This is different. This is /new/. Her breath catches and she reaches for where her ribs are wrapped, and then she smacks a hand there, fire lacing at her insides and searing up her spine. "These ribs? Like I give a fuck. No one out there is going to take it easy on me. And I.."

It isn't until Steph turns that she is once more drawn to /reading/ her, her foot sliding back and into a more prepared stance, fingers curling into fists. Adrenaline rushes through her, and it isn't like the harsh spike most people get. The Devil Inside lives and breaths it, and if she thought she had focus after Zatanna's tender touch, Mueller's soulfire seems to have brought on a whole new world of possibilities.

"I need you to hit me as hard as you can."

"No. I don't. And you might not care, but I do. This isn't beat-the-heck out of each other. This is practice, to get to know each other," Stephanie replies, brows pinching together at the smack tot he ribs Az gives herself. It's accompanied by a wince, a wince of sympathy.

Azalea's teeth grit, and then she tries to shake her hackles away. "Fine. It's your show." She concedes the point, and as she reaches for reserves of control she finds The Game. It's how the other hosts reigned themselves in - toying with their food.

Maybe she shouldn't think like that - not about a teacher, not about someone who already cares for her, even if she doesn't know her well enough to reciprocate yet, but it' all she's got.

And it's more than she had before.

"Go for it."

When Az finds the control to push back the… whatever it is, Stephanie smiles and nods. When her tutoree (it's a word now!!) signals that she's ready, Stephanie moves forward and attacks. Basic, simple, quick enough to land lightly if Az doesn't counter or dodge or parry, slow enough for a novice to react to.

A breath fills her lungs with pain and energy, and as the punch wades in she'll find herself stricken by the pivot of toned muscle, the restraint in action, and every inch of force behind the blow as it drives up from Stephanie's turning hips.


So taken with her new view of the world, even as it seems slowed down, The Dark Devil barely manages to take the action she needs, jerking her head to the side just far enough that the blow tickles along the skin of her cheek, and as she makes a jerking sidestep to complete the motion she walks backwards in a wide circle, giving an almost amazed shake of her head.

"Something is different. Not wrong, just different. It used to only ever feel like this a little bit. Bits and pieces. I could see it a mile away."

But she was supposed to see this one a mile away, right?

"And you're not used to it yet?" Stephanie asks, circling with Az, blue eyes holding concern. She seems not bothered at all that Az saw it a mile away, nor commented that she had. Steph was glad she could see it a mile away. She waits, body held in that loose sort of tension, for Az to reply. Her mind thinking through what her answers could mean and what to do to best help her.

Slowly the guard drops, and her hand comes up to rub at her forehead, exasperation clear in her posture and expression. "I haven't had to fight anyone since the other night. Something happened when he got hold of me - some kind of magic… thing. I don't know. I'm not an expert. I should talk to Zatanna when-" She abruptly stops, her friend's name sour in her mouth. God what will that be like. A slow exhale and she shakes her head again, urging Spoiler to continue. "Might as well figure this out. But really, don't go slow. I need to see what I can do."

"I'll step up the speed, little bit at a time," Stephanie promises, setting up again and moving in. She knowns someone named Zatanna. File away for later. Right now, focus on finding her limit, watching her face for pain or rage. Batman asked her to help this new girl. She already swore that oath, a long time ago: On my honor, I will try… to help people at all times. I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do; and I will respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every girl.


The blow comes in, and Azalea's pupils flux, her mind racing backwards to a time when she was Kor Kon Klem, Fith Circle of the League of assassins. Her left hand sweeps in for Spoiler's wrist while her right arm circles over and around, and a blow that should be deflected will get caught high, beneath Spoiler's shoulder.

The sudden, surging, iron grip that finds her new friend's throat is a red herring, a distraction from the hip torquing twist that will take them both for a ride.

The take down is meant to be performed by someone bigger, but Azalea's adrenaline reserves will allow her to make the choke-slam into a mat-smacking success, and no one is as shocked as she is.

"Holy shit." She leans back and off of Spoiler immediately, already offering her a hand up. "I know kung fu." Not really. She knows a bunch of things, but it's about as easy as she can describe the sudden deluge of instinctual knowledge that wracks her brain.

Spoiler was not expecting that, but true to her word to Batman, she did her best to follow the motion. She coudln't. But at least it didn't come with a spike of rage, so BONUS!

"Ohmygod. You're Neo," Stephanie quips, smiling as she takes Az's hand and gets to her feet. Becuase there's no way she's keeping a straight face after that.

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