Took me ridiculously long to write, and it isn't even that long. *facepalm* Can't say I'm terribly satisfied with the result, but I don't think I can do any better at the moment. Anyway, it was fun to write for this fandom xD

Warnings: 1) Mary-Sueish, very much so. 2) A few hints on femslash maybe, but nothing more than that. 3) No real idea behind the whole thing whatsoever, and no actual plot to speak about. 4) Betaed only by Microsoft Word, and I do have a sneaking suspicion I have messed it up somewhere. Like in, the title. Should it be a night, the night or just night?.. I can never decide o.o

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

The Singing Mandrake was strangely peaceful tonight. No drunken brawls, no heated discussions between Bohemians – Mikarissa especially disliked those, because she was always expected to participate, even though she couldn't care less about the undeniable superiority of one opera singer over another, or vice versa, depending on debaters – and even the annoying Insufferable Poser was silent for once, quietly nurturing his mug in a corner.

Mikarissa suppressed a yawn and rested her head on her folded hands. A company was pleasant enough, but apparently spending all day in fungus-marches near the Watchmakers Hill and then accepting an invitation to a dinner wasn't her brightest idea. Wine, as good as it was, didn't help at all. She wondered idly if that annoying buzzing in her head will ever abate.

She felt an unnaturally hot hand touching her shoulder.

"Had a rough day, sweetheart?" the Quite Deviless asked with slight amusement.

"You can say so, yes, although seeing you makes it all seem insignificant," Mikarissa raised her head and smiled a little. Then she suddenly remembered something she wanted to enquire about and frowned. "Tell me, is the Affectionate Devil still… er, upset? You know I didn't mean to offend him."

"Upset? Oh, yes," the deviless chuckled. "Don't hold it against him. Your soul is a desirable prize for many of us, and you have always encouraged his advances. Of course he was devastated by your refusal. Say, have you ever considered…"

"No-no-no," Mikarissa shook her head decisively and instantly regretted it, as her headache seemed to worsen with every move. "As irresistible as you are, I am not ready to part with my soul, sorry. Not unless the price is very good, that is."

The Deviless hid a malicious spark that appeared in her yellow eyes for a moment behind her long eyelashes and flashed a beautifully bright smile:

"And what price would you consider a good one, then?"

"Oh, that's easy," Mikarissa waved her left hand excitedly, while gripping a wineglass with her right one. "A bottle of Hesperidean Cider, an Overgoat to keep as a pet, and an Extraordinary Hat – can't really get anywhere high without having one, and I don't even want to comprehend how much more days I will need to spend in those d-ned marches to buy one myself," – she sighed melancholically and took another sip of wine.

"…You certainly drive a hard bargain," answered the Quite Deviless weakly after a few moments of shocked silence.

"Well, no reason to part with something valuable if not gaining something even more valuable in the process. How's your poetry doing, by the way?"

The deviless blinked in confusion at the sudden change of subject, and then coughed nervously.

"Um. Yes. I've been trying a few things… Some new similes, more elaborate metaphors… I'll send it to you later, if you do not mind? Your advices are invaluable."

"Sure, feel free to," Mikarissa gestured with her glass amiably and then abruptly stopped mid-way and paled a little as she saw two Constables entering the Singing Mandrake. "Oops, those gentlemen are probably after me. And even if they aren't, they still will be oh-so-very-happy to see me. Thanks for the dinner, darling!" She downed the glass in one gulp and rushed for the back door unnoticed, without making a single sound.

Deviless shook her head slightly at a complete loss for words.

This woman was annoying as heaven, unpredictable as a schedule of Leadbeater & Stainrod, and even more stubborn than the famous – or infamous, depending on the perspective – Implacable Detective.

But… She was the only one willing to actually read her poetry, instead of throwing pages into the hearth. Paying for the dinner wasn't such a high price for it.

As for her soul…

Deviless drummed her long nails on the table absent-mindedly.

Perhaps, next time she should order stronger wine.