The garden was tranquil in the late noon, largely ignored by visitors in favour of the bustling palace. But that suited the young woman lounging against a tree just fine. Rebecca sighed contentedly, and pulled Cavendish's coat tighter around her shoulders when a light breeze shifted it. She hadn't meant to fall asleep, but the warm sun and being held safe in his arms had been too irresistible a combination. Although now that she was semi-awake and thinking about it, she couldn't feel Cavendish's presence nearby.
With one hand Rebecca sleepily poked around, trying to locate him. She didn't think he would go off without waking her; he had made it petulantly clear that he didn't appreciate other people taking up her time, and even clearer that he hated other men ogling her. She was amused by the first sentiment, and deeply appreciative of the other. When men stared at her without seeing her for who she was, she felt like she was back in the Colosseum. Although the Colosseum would almost be preferable, since she could have tossed those men into a moat filled with fighting fish. It took a fair bit of discipline to tell Cavendish that he was in no way permitted to use his sword on those who leered at her, but she wouldn't let violence be used indiscriminately in Dressrosa anymore.
Cavendish was obviously not within arms reach, so Rebecca reluctantly opened her eyes to see where he was. She blearily blinked a couple of times, and found herself inches away from the sinister grinning face that she had only seen once before.
For a split second she completely froze, before her gaze snapped to his waist, looking for his sword. Thankfully, Durandal was sheathed and she slowly looked back up to the thing that was not the man she knew. Surprisingly, it hadn't moved. It just continued to kneel and look at her, almost expectantly. The expression was still strangely malevolent, but there seemed to be no intent or feeling behind it. The spike of adrenaline was ebbing at this point after the initial shock, and she finally noticed what was piled in front of her between herself and whatever it was in Cavendish's body.
It looked like they had been ripped from the ground by a whirlwind they were so tattered, but all the same there was a large pile of flowers at her feet. There were red roses with thorn covered stems mixed with bluebeards and daisies, even hydrangeas with full white blossoms. Looking around the garden, she saw the mangled remains of the shrubs that the blooms had come from and she nearly laughed. The garden would never be the same. But it was an impressive heap of flowers, and keeping both eyes on the man in front of her, she reached out and took one. Still the grinning face didn't react, so she smiled tentatively and brought the rose to her face.
The wide grin seemed to grow a bit wider when she spoke, then it faded in a near instant and Cavendish keeled over right into her lap. He was snoring lightly and looked like his usual self again, and Rebecca resisted the urge to punch him for the scare. She wouldn't do that while he was defenceless though, so she settled for shoving him unceremoniously off her and into the pile of flowers.
He landed with a satisfying thud and she was relieved when he opened his eyes, their normal bright blue dimmed by sleep and puzzlement. The bewilderment in his expression grew when he sat up, and looked around at the petals scattered around and over him. There were bits of greenery in his hair and as he brushed at it more plant bits fell from his hat brim and out of his shirt collar. She couldn't help herself and she began to laugh quietly as Cavendish twisted and turned as he tried to rid himself of all the debris. She couldn't imagine the intensity the flowers must have been cut with to make such a mess of him.
"Care to tell me what happened?" he asked finally, shaking out his sleeves and looking more perplexed than ever.
Rebecca shrugged, smiling wryly. "I think I have another admirer."