Flame Wars


Seth_icon.gif Simone_icon.gif

Summary: Simone pays a visit to Seth's home to ask a favor, and they get along wonderfully. That is, Simone's hair ends up on fire, and Seth is smacked around.

Date It Happened: January 12, 2002

Flame Wars

The Ward-Blackwell Residence

Another productive day, another lazy evening. Seth's warlock business for the day involved cursing an entire troop of girl scouts to never sell cookies again - not exactly his normal speed, but what the hey. Customers are always right, even if they're retarded. Now the man sits in a windowed alcove of his living room, an enormous ginger cat on his lap, while he reads what appears to be some sort of Extremely Foul Spellbook of Unsurpassable Evil. Since this is reading for pleasure, however, mostly he's looking at the pictures. It's a laugh a minute.

DING DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD. HELLO IS THE WARLOCK IN. Hopefully so, or else Simone will have made this side-trip for nothing. Seth's reading break is interrupted by a smart rappity-rap-rap on his front door. It isn't forceful, but it's loud enough to be rude; she wants to make sure she gets his attention in case he's distracted or entranced by a magic spell or something. Or maybe he's old and wise (if he's as knowledgeable as they say) and thus hard of hearing. Always a possibility. If it's possible to make out, from outside comes the sound of feet shifting around on the doorstep and very faint, feminine throat-clearings.

With a muffled curse Seth drops his book on the shelf beside him and picks up the cat, setting the peeved feline on the floor. His socked feet hit the hardwood a moment later, and after he steadies himself against the wall the warlock starts limping for the front door. "I'm coming, I'm coming! Be patient, for God's sake." The rap-tap-tap is apparently not appreciated. It takes a bit of time for him to cross into the main hallway, but soon enough the knob of the front door turns and the door itself is yanked open, leaving the warlock to squint suspiciously out into the darkness. "Who the hell are you?"

Seth won't have to squint very far out there. Not all. Because Simone is bam: right there, hands clasped owlishly atop her purse at her right side, stance haughty. She looks normal enough, dressed in a brown vest over a black turtleneck and jeans, hair pulled into a ponytail. "Do you always greet visitors this way?" the woman demands, briefly peering past him, over his shoulder and into the house. "Are you a Mr. 'Seth Ward'? Because if you're not, I'm not going to waste a minute longer of my time." British, judging by the undisguised accent.

Suspicion is clearly written all over Seth's face as he eyeballs the woman at his doorstep, lip curling upwards ever so faintly. "Yeah. I'm Ward. What exactly is it that you want?" The question about his normal method of greeting is, of course, ignored. Because it should probably be pretty obvious.

"I've been told that you have certain talents," is Simone's slightly more thoughtful reply, though she continues staring him straight in the eyes like he owes her something. "There is— something I want done, and your name happened to come from a recommended source. If you would?" Without taking her eyes off him, she nods past him. Apparently, she doesn't want to discuss the matter right on the doorstep.

Talents - yes. Seth does have those. In fact, he has many talents, and most of them are for sale. Sniffing once (perhaps to warn away the remnants of a cold) the man steps back from his front door, holding it open expectantly. "Fine. Come on in, but don't get anything disgusting on my floor." He'll be watching for that.

Aaand in Simone goes. No, nothing disgusting accompanies her in; she chooses to ignore that comment entirely. "You should know, first, that I'm not - well. A magic-user myself. So, I'm not sure how viable this is," she begins once they're inside, taking a few moments to acclimate herself to her surroundings. As immaculate as everything is, there's nothing scathing she can think of to comment on, so she stays silent as far as that's concerned.

The warlock limps forward again, this time to shut the door after Simone. He doesn't appear to be in the best of moods, but information gathered before the visit might indicate to the vampire that it's pretty rare to find him in a good one. "Fair enough, but it'd be easier for me to give you a quote if you'd, you know. Tell me what you're after instead of wander around my home."

Simone is not wandering! She stands quietly enough, narrowly watching Seth's back as he moves towards the door. The limp is noted, and she sighs shortly. "Straight to it, then. I want somebody's soul removed."

Wandering is in the eye of the beholder - but Seth seems to be completely surprised by the request, judging by the way he very nearly stumbles into the door just as it clicks shut, turning to look over his shoulder at Simone. "You want. Excuse me? What do you want?"

"Oh, you heard me." Simone actually isn't sure what kind of response she had been expecting. As she had said, magic is kind of outside her realm of everyday dealings. "I chose you, Mr. Ward, because I have heard, well. That you lack a certain sense of morality which might otherwise get in the way. But if this isn't possible—"

"It's possible." Seth's answer is fast and sharp, meaning to cut off any further nay-saying. "But extremely difficult. And not exactly your run-of-the-mill ritual." He straightens up and starts forward, heading for the doorway that leads to the living room - but instead of going through it he just leans against it for support, watching his potential customer carefully. "Why do you want to yank a soul?"

Held up as she is, Simone doesn't move away from her spot, instead eying Seth just as evenly. It's a fair enough question. "Let's just say I haven't been pleased with how a certain friend of mine has been acting. Having a soul seems to be a large part of the problem. If that obstacle could only be removed, then…everybody would be much happier." Ahem. She takes one hand off her purse to examine its fingernails. "For the sake of this ritual, how specific do you need me to be?"

Seth scratches nervously at the top of his head, frowning at the woman. "I'd just hope you're not trying to do this to a human. That can end very nastily for all parties involved." It's a warning, plain and simple. "Beyond that, I don't really need to know anything. I can't help you."

"Not quite. Half-demon." Simone lifts her eyebrows, her expression turning into a puzzled and displeased frown. "Why? What can happen? I thought you said it was possible."

"I said it was possible, I didn't say I'd do it." This time the warlock is getting snappy. He's on his own turf, after all, and it's not like one woman could really give him trouble. "I can do it. But I'm not really peachy-keen on flashing that sort of power around. Bad for business."

That really isn't something to be counted on, but Simone isn't here looking for trouble. "You wouldn't be flashing anything around. Nobody would…have to know, would they?" He'll be doing it in the privacy of his home, right? She doesn't know. Her eyes sharpen on Seth's face, taking on something like polite suspicion, and she becomes more abrupt while still sounding puzzled. "If it's a question of payment, I have plenty to make it worth your while." Risk or no.

The warlock sneers again, shaking his head. "Money isn't the problem, even though I'd be happy to take it. It's a question of not wanting to seem too bloody talented with Wolfram and Hart sniffing around my neighborhood. Them, I don't want to bother. I don't want them to even recognize that I'm here in the damn city." Seth points at Simone meaningfully, his head inclining forward in her direction. "That's where you should be going."

"Then have the courtesy to start me off in a direction. A phone number, perhaps." Though Simone sees the logic behind the warlock's claim, she is rapidly losing patience. So far, he has been utterly unhelpful.

For a moment Seth just stares. And then he sets his free hand on his stomach and laughs - at Simone - while treating her to one of the biggest smirks he can muster. "Right, because I keep them on speed dial. Look in the damn yellow pages."

Fine then. Be that way. Simone hisses at Seth, looking positively annoyed. She has the intent of stalking back down the hallway towards the door, but for that second, she just: "I hope you trip on that cane of yours. Stupid cripple." Obviously, that leg has messed with his head.

Oh no she di'in't. First the warlock turns red in the face when his leg is mentioned and he's called by his own personal Worst Name Ever, trying and failing for several seconds to come up with a snappy retort. So he goes with the non-physical. As soon as Simone turns her back he lifts his hand to point at her and quietly says something in a language that is very not English.

Simone shrieks horribly, beating madly at the lick of flame that starts at the ends of her hair. It goes crawling up, singeing as it goes, though pretty soon it's obliterated by the pure panic with which the vampire slaps at it. When it's out, she turns on Seth out of enraged instinct, taking a step forward and swinging her fist at the warlock's head.

There's some more laughing at Simone's expense while Seth gets the pleasure (and it is a pleasure) of watching someone trying to put out their own head. He smirks, chortling to himself, until the fun ends with the last puff of vanishing flame - and then all he sees is a fist coming at him. To his credit the warlock reacts quickly, turning in towards the wall and cringing, and instead of getting hit right in the face Simone manages to give his left ear a really good whack, which sends him tumbling to the ground thanks to its force. Thud.

And then Simone is hauling Seth up by the front of his shirt, snarling straight into the warlock's face. She still looks unremarkably human, though it is immediately apparent that this woman has some unnatural superstrength going on. "You really need some lessons in how to treat your guests, Ward."

Seth remains as limp as a noodle as he's pulled up, unwilling to offer any resistance to something willing to fight back and hurt him. Most intruders are put off by the first hair-on-fire trick. It's really just an unfortunate situation. He squeezes his eyes tightly shut and seems to be most interested in crawling off into a corner somewhere, and when he speaks - well. "Please don't hurt me, please don't hurt me-"

Simone seems content to just breathe into the warlock's face for a while, glaring as she tightens her clutchhold. A distasteful look creeps onto her expression, but instead of heaving him right off the ground and hurling him into the nearest item of furniture, like she's tempted to, she just opens her hands and lets him crash to the floor below her. "That isn't what I came here for, you know. But pulling that fire trick of yours? You make it hard."

Each second of being held up is like an eternity, mostly because poor Seth believes himself about a minute away from some sort of horrible death. However, he's let go - and he just drops down, once again hitting the hardwood in a not-so-delicate manner. This time he manages to at least partially catch himself, but thanks to being utterly terrified he doesn't dare to look up at the stranger. "I'm. I'm sorry."

"Apology accepted." Because Simone is obviously in the right here. Obviously. "And it wasn't right of me to call you a stupid cripple. So let's just leave this ugly little mess behind us, shall we?" If only there was a rule that says Warlocks Cannot Lie; otherwise, she'd make him promise not to curse her. She prods him in the side with a foot, just hard enough to serve as a physical reminder.

By the time Simone even thinks about moving to nudge her foot at the warlock, he's got his hands clutched over his head and he's practically curled up on the floor. It's pretty pathetic, actually. "Yes. Whatever you say. Miss-?" No, Seth never did get her name.

"Simone. Simone Muldoon." Rolling her eyes in one long, patient motion, she grabs at him again, this time seeking him to forcibly pull the man up by the armpit. "Oh, get up. You're not hurt." Quit being such a baby.

Oh jesus he's going to die. That's all that really runs through Seth's mind as he's hauled to his feet, the man not really standing at his full height and staggering just a little as his bad leg wobbles underneath him. "Pleased to meet you." Except not really.

Snort. "Hah. So what happened to that leg of yours?" The wobbling has attracted Simone's attention, and she glances over the bridge of her nose at the limb in question. "Another un-satisfied customer? I can break the other one to match, if you want."

"My wife." A pause. "Ex-wife." Seth quickly shakes his head at Simone's most generous offer, holding up his hands palm outwards. "No, that's. That's quite all right, thank you. I'm doing just fine without further injury. You - you needed a phone number?"

"Lord. You don't get along well with women, do you." Simone is rather amused. With both her hands, she reaches behind her head to add another twist to her ponytail. "And if you could, that would be lovely. Saves me the trouble of looking it up."

No, Seth doesn't tend to mesh well with women. He's usually busy being too much of a jackass for them to get to like him. The warlock takes a few steps backwards, enabling him to snatch one of the several canes on a small stand just inside the door, letting him move more easily. "So who's the unlucky half breed?"

"His name is Tiggs." As she finishes the business with her hair, her fingers trailing down to the still-blackened ends of her hair - which causes a sudden nasty frown - Simone squints at Seth. "You were lucky more of this didn't burn up, warlock."

It's all Seth can do to avoid cringing in terror once again when he is eyeballed and told he was lucky, the man making sure to cross the room towards the kitchen using the very farthest path from her that he can take. "It. It was an accident. This Tiggs guy do something to you?" Limping into the kitchen Seth stops at the counter, pulling down a small book of 'emergency numbers'.

"Absolutely not. Well, besides acting improperly for his species." A particularly hard exhalation is let out through Simone's nose; she does not look happy at all. Nor does she not take her fingers away from her ponytail, finally choosing to undo it altogether and let her hair come tumbling down. "You have to understand. This isn't about revenge. There are some problems that need to be fixed, is all."

Totally an accident. Absolutely. Seth does his best to not look at the scary lady at all, instead grabbing the nearest sheet of paper and pen before starting to flip through the book. A, B - flipflipflip - K L M - W. He starts writing down the number. "If you say so, Miss Muldoon."

"Hmph. I do." After that sniff, there isn't a lot more to be said, and so Simone just waits in silence as Seth goes through his list. She does wander a bit closer to where he's standing, though she stops at a conservative distance away, eying him like a peeved hawk.

Well, this is just a little bit terrifying. The number is soon scribbled (legibly!) onto the paper, with an additional note underneath to remind its future owner that it is for the offices of Wolfram & Hart. Seth rips the paper off the pad, dropping his pen, and then starts back towards Simone, holding out the page delicately.

And there she stands, as regally as ever, to receive the offering. Simone picks the paper out of Seth's hand without moving her arm too much, skims it over once to make sure it's all to her satisfaction, and folds it into a thin pocket of her purse without further ado. "That will be all, Mister Ward. I thank you for your cooperation." She claps the man on the shoulder in what looks like a chummy gesture, except in reality it's more of a push, and it's forceful enough to make him stagger or worse. It's uncertain whether the movement is meant to be friendly.

Stumble, stumble, crash. Seth, uneasy on his feet at all times, doesn't really even need that much pushing. The warlock bangs into a chair and drops his cane, scrabbling until he can grab the chair itself - as if for dear life - to hold himself up. "You're… quite welcome, Miss Muldoon." Please don't come back ever again.

With a contemptuous curve of her lips, Simone turns to take her leave just as Seth is scrambling around down on the floor, not looking back even once. Pathetic human.

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