—This was part of a WIP of mine, but that will most likely never see the light of day. So I thought why not. This pairing is interesting, I'm a closet yuri fan, and it's my classic villain/heroine topic, with more focus on the villain.

—By the by, Athena is just too sexy. And I use her Japanese name because I like Neo!Team Rocket's Japanese names better than the English ones. *shrugs* Sue me.

—Also, some of the lines are straight from the game and rephrased. That's how much I liked Athena in HGSS; I actually kept her lines.

—As a closer, I would like to state this turned out better than I thought it would. Though it ends on a sad note. Oh well, unrequited love's a bitch.

Disclaimer: Don't like slight pedophilia and yuri? Nifty. Don't read this.


Mansion Song

"Take a piece of raw vegetable and hold it to your breast and say you stood for nothing.

You were just a hole that lacked passion,
Another undignified product of society.
That girl should have been a mansion."

-Kate Nash

I.

Athena is a lady—men see it in the way she moves and how she smiles with deep red lips. And red did suit her best, the color of passion, lust, and power, which she uses to seduce men who just can't resist a dangerous woman.

She uses Pokemon of poison and sweet-smelling death, her skills lie in the sensuous and smooth abstract of battle. And that is the way a woman works, in gaining power and money and thinking nothing of it all.

So when a little girl with pigtails comes along, she thinks nothing of it, corners her with a Rocket grunt in their headquarters. The girl does not falter and stares at Athena straight on. Her interest is piqued.

"Sorry, baby," Athena says and the girl reaches for her pokeball. "I can't let you go any further."

Lyra hears the malice like poison in her voice, but does not flinch. Athena realizes then she had been prepared to take on two trainers at once, if Lance had not stepped in.

"An accomplice…Where is your sense of dignity?" Athena says this with a smile. "As interim boss in the place of Giovanni, I will destroy you both."

Even without Lance's help, Lyra could hold up well in battle. But Athena does not pay this much mind until her Pokemon succumb in battle she sees the girl's energetic eyes and electric body.

"Tch, you really are strong. It's too bad. If you were to join Team Rocket, you could become an Executive."

No thank you, Lyra thinks. And Athena sees that she is too innocent and young and brave to know of the circumstances that landed a girl in a criminal organization.

"But that's fine," she goes on. "The broadcast experiment was a total success, so it doesn't matter what happens to this hideout now. You'll come to appreciate Team Rocket's true power soon enough. Enjoy yourself while you can..."

The girl goes away, without another thought. But Athena cannot forget so easily. Because those eyes look at her the way she wants to be looked at, not filled with the lust of a man or the fear of anyone else.

II.

Their headuarters compromised, Apollo decides to push their Radio Tower mission to a sooner date, and when Athena gets word of an interloper, some foolish part of her hopes it is the girl with pigtails. Her sick thoughts must have been heard by some sadistic god, because Lyra stumbles onto her, shocked that Athena had been waiting near the elevator.

"Remember me from the hideout in Mahogany Town?" She asks conversationally. "This time...it looks like you're really all alone. So it should be quite easy."

The Rocket executive is really too close for Lyra's comfort, but she battles and defeats the woman just as easily as last time and Athena is angered and awed at the same time.

"What a waste... not to use your strength for Team Rocket. It's too bad... I've really come to respect your strength."

The statement makes Lyra balk for a moment, and just like the child she is, she forgets again. Athena will not affect her as much as Lyra has affected her, and the former does not know what to make of that.

III.

"It's over," Apollo tells Athena, looking away as he always does.

Déjà vu, she thinks, that both Giovanni and Apollo give up because of a child. And this one had managed to shake her and she knows that she does not have the same effect on Lyra. She is merely another enemy for the girl, easily overlooked. Something in her wants to continue on just so that she could see the girl's determined eyes and ridiculously large hat and try to figure her out again.

But Athena nods, because he always had more power, and she is only the nominal interim boss. "Where will you go from here," she asks him.

"Good question." He still doesn't smile, never does. "How about you?"

She does not answer, either.

IV.

Athena is a lady of the night.

She uses her body, the best thing she had, and it works well and hard for her as it once did before. This is what she is reduced to, a physical being running on fumes and cigarette butts. She once had command over hundreds of men, willing to do her bidding even with only a suggestion, but now she lets men think they command her. They use her, do whatever they want with the shell of her body, and she uses them as well.

Quid pro quo, she supposes, because she likes money and never was one for any spiritual bullshit.

Then again, she doesn't think about it much, doesn't care. It's all in the rut and the notions and the feeling like there is nothing to lose or gain. And there is Lyra, with her girlish pigtails, running through her mind. It is bringing her dangerously close to the edge.

V.

Lyra is staying in Goldenrod, the bustling city life has always suited her better than her small hometown. Winter has begun its reign and Lyra wears a scarf and mittens and the coat her mom had shoved into her duffel bag at the beginning of her journey as she walks back from the department store with a bag in her hand. While she had been shopping, the day fell to night and she breathes on her gloved hands. A cloud appears in her palms.

She passes the Radio Tower, her feet silent against the sidewalk, she sees an orange light glowing and stops. The woman barely wears any clothes, a short white skirt and top, heels that she didn't need for height. The red hair seems familiar, but Lyra can't put her finger on it.

Then a spark of remembrance leads her to ask," Athena, right?" She slowly approaches to make sure she's right.

In the sallow light from the cigarette, the woman's eye—mean and sensual and all things Lyra does not know—study the girl quizzically. "Yes…and your name is Lyra. So nice to see you well." There's a hint of sardonicism in her voice.

Lyra gulps. She does not need to ask what the ex-executive is doing here and it makes her nervous. "I…I'm sorry."

Athena pushes away from the wall of the Radio Tower and crushes the cigarette under her heel. "You're sorry, huh." She smiles. "For what?"

Lyra squirms. She wants to escape this situation. Athena draws closer, and she answers quietly. "For…everything."

"You'll have to be more specific." She enjoys watching the girl shift anxiously, and it feels like old times. Sure, Lyra has changed, grown as girls her age do. But the strength that tore down Team Rocket is still in those eyes and Athena is glad she still wears her pigtails.

She takes the girl's chin and leans in, and before Lyra reacts, she kisses her, full and deep and tasting of cigarette smoke.

Her eyes are wide and Athena's lipstick is smeared on her mouth when she pulls awat. Lyra does not know where it came from, but Athena has been waiting for it. Ever since she saw the girl's back, so forgetful, like their encounters were just a minor glitch in the system. Insignificant.

And so the girl couldn't know how much Athena thinks of her when she barely remembers her name.

The woman walks away with a small smile, and Lyra watches her back, still in shock. No, she'll never understand what sort of tremors she has caused in Athena's life, and the woman can't blame her for her ignorance.

She is not worth the time anyway, and she wouldn't force herself upon such a girl who is everything Athena could never hope to be. At least, maybe, her lips will leave a mark in Lyra's memory.

I'll be a lady
And I will be a lady
And I will never let you...