The all so annoying disclaimer of doom… you know the gig, I own no one…
And Malz, this is the TxB ficcie you wanted, I'm sorry if it didn't come out right, but after two months of trying to make it work just gets on your nerves, sorry, this is all I could come out with… enjoy!
Wind blew hard, pushing the clouds far, far away, their white, foamy figure parting with only the small bodies of birds passing through them, or by the body of a giant golden-brown air ship. The ship was huge, with a huge heart symbol and the words May Ship written inside, and on both wings were the words I love Johnny, the love was written as a simple art of a heart-shape between the two words.
That was the May Ship, one of the Jellyfish pirate's ships. Inside that ship, and in a small, somewhat dark, humbly lit and decorated bedroom, the thinnest rays of sunlight made it into the room as a figure of a person curled about in the bed, twisting and turning, a small pained moan came before the figure rose, blinking wearily at the small, darkened room. The strands of blood-red hair and the ashen skin that snuck out from under the bed cover belonged to an Asian woman; hair long and silken, flowing elegantly down her sides as she moved her left hand to feel about her hurting head.
"Where- ?" was her first breath, ever so a whisper, she touched her throat and swallowed, needing moisture.
"Ah! I see the lady is awake, no?" a chuckling man, blond with a trench coat and sunglasses walked in, "Lady Baiken, it's so good to see you again!" he exclaimed, "If only they were better conditions, don't you think?"
The redhead sent him a glare, "Where am I?" she let her feet dangle as she sat on the side of the bed.
The man smiled, "The Jellyfish's May ship, and you were in a terrible condition, if I may say, haven't you been taking care of yourself lately? You looked so awful when we found you." He said once again, but now in concern, he sat himself next to her at the side of the bed, "How do you feel?"
"Annoyed." She growled, ignoring him, she felt the fabric of her clothes, only to realize that her weathered kimono had been replaced by a pair of cotton pajamas, and clearly they were a little too baggy on her.
"They're new and clean, don't worry." The man chuckled, scratching his blonde head nervously, "Dinner would be ready soon, would you like to join me?" he offered her an inviting arm.
Slightly flushing, realizing that he must've seen her without her usual clothes, if any, the redhead looked around and brushed back red hair from her vision, "Where are my things?" she turned to look at him.
Johnny smiled, "Ah, your sword and heavy artillery are all safe, they're in the next room," he pointed towards a door near by, "as for your clothes, I saw that they were much too damaged and weathered for your beauty, so I asked the girls to make you a new dress." He smiled warmly.
She knot her brows and rubbed her temple, "What happened?"
He blinked, "You don't remember?"
She shook her head, saying no.
He tilted his head with an apologetic glance, "Ah, I wish I knew. I just stopped the ship for some slight repairs, the girls went out to fetch any wild berries we could use for dessert, and then Dizzy found you in the forest, you were unconscious and bleeding all over, they told me that there was a dead beast near by, so I guessed you blacked out after defeating it, did you not?"
"It- wasn't me." She replied, "I remember now, the- beast, I swung my sword but it deflected it and hit me, I remember I blacked out after that."
"So you're saying you were not the one who defeated it?"
She shook her head again, saying no.
"Who do you think it could have been?"
She shrugged a shoulder, "Who cares? I'm alive, right? Whoever the idiot was doesn't matter." She brushed back hair from her head and stood up. Abruptly, it felt as if her feet were pulled from below her for she lost her balance.
"Whoa! Careful!" Johnny said after he caught her fall, "Are you alright?"
"Ah… yeah, I'm okay." She murmured, rubbing her sore head, "Mou I feel like my brain is going to explode!"
"Well in that case," Johnny spoke and scooped her into his arms, "I'll just have to carry you, then." He grinned.
"Uh-!? Hey! Put me down!" she cried and kicked.
"Johnny!" the excited voice of a little teenaged girl stopped at the sight before her, she blinked, her brown eyes retaking the sight over and over, before slowly her brows met when she pouted, "Johnny?" she somewhat scolded.
"May, Dinner ready already?" the man chuckled nervously, "Please, don't get the wrong idea, I'm just helping her to bed."
"I can walk!" Baiken growled, blushing bright red.
May frowned and let her silken brown her lash as she twirled around and left the room, not a word said.
Johnny sighed and placed the redhead in bed, "Please do forgive her, she can be quite- difficult at times."
Baiken soothed her clothes and huffed, irritated, "Yeah, well, she's more your problem than mine." She growled, "And if you don't mind, I'd like to leave this ship?" she looked at him with a serious gaze.
The blond man shook his head, "No can do, honey. We're soaring above the clouds right now, not to mention that we're over the ocean, it'll be about two or three more hours before we reach land."
The redhead frowned and her lips were in a straight line, a sure sign of displeasure, "And when would this thing land? Where are you headed, anyway?"
With that, Johnny flashed a grin, "Oh, nowhere." He chuckled, "I just received a call from Chipp Zanuff the other day, he told me that we should celebrate New Year together, we're getting a room arranged and ready, he's got some stuff for the decoration too, so as soon as we join up with him it'll be all set." He tipped back his hat, "Oh and he asked that if we ever find you, we should capture you, drag you in by force and make you join."
"I don't celebrate new year." She growled and slowly looked away.
"Ah, but that's only the beginning!" Johnny grinned wider, "Do you know who's birthday it is on new year?"
That made her blink, "Birthday? You mean it's a double-party?"
"Yup, the first day of new year is the birthday of someone you know."
Baiken blinked again, "Someone I know?" she stared, thinking deeply, wondering of who it could possibly be, who's birthday would accrue on the same day of new year? She quickly gave up.
"Did you guess?" Johnny chuckled.
She shook her head, "I have no idea."
Johnny gave her a shocked look, "Aw, I bet you weren't even trying!" he cupped his hip, "You know this person very well, lady Baiken."
She tilted her head and thought again.
Johnny smiled, "Would you like a hint?"
She blinked once more, "I wouldn't mind."
He grinned, "Brown eyes."
She paused, "May?"
Johnny blinked twice, "Erm- no… Black hair."
She blinked another time and then a slight gleam in her eye made her brow twitch, "I have a hunch."
Johnny smiled, "And it would be?"
She paused, "Dear I say it… Mito?"
She looked at him in horror, "Anji-ass-Mito? You're telling me it's his birthday? On new year?"
Johnny stopped chuckling to give her a calm look, "Just this once, I think you should attend it, do it for him."
"No!" she said blankly, "Why the hell should I? You guys go, I'm not going to get myself stuck with a moron like that!"
"It's his first, you know. And he doesn't know about the party, Zanuff told me it was a surprise birthday party."
She paused, "I don't care. But what do you mean by 'it's his first'?"
"Well, Zanuff told me that Mito never celebrated his birthday because- well, everyone forgot!" he shrugged, a thoughtful look on his face, "After all, everyone would go and celebrate new year and forget all about him." Johnny allowed himself to sit next to her on the bedside again, "Zanuff told me that Mito's gotten used to it by now, he even thinks Chipp forgot about it, he told me that Mito caught him with the decoration and Chipp told him that they were for new year, he also told me that Mito looked hurt and Chipp felt a little guilty, he's hoping to make up for that once everything is set. Mito may not care much for the party since he doesn't know about it, but still Chipp would like to do something for him, and so do we." Johnny explained, "I mean what's the fun in living your life, being forgotten all the time, never celebrating your birthday with those who remember?"
That seemed to make little sense in her head, her expression softened to one of pity and understanding, so she didn't argue, "Che... fine, I'll go. But don't expect me bringing him any presents, and I'll leave when I feel like it, and don't you dare try and stop me." She said blankly.
Johnny flashed her a charming grin, "As long as your appearance makes him happy." He nodded.
The redhead flushed, rolled her lonely eye and then looked away.
"Which bring up the question, when is your birthday?" he grinned, tipping his hat.
She flushed a shade of deeper red and then growled, "Like hell I'm telling you!"
There was a slight knock on the door…
"Um…" blue hair draped over blood-red eyes as the ruffling of a black wing was seen at the door, "Can I come in?"
The blond pirate smiled, "Ah, Dizzy! Of course, do come in."
"Um, lady Baiken I'd just like to tell you that dinner is severed, would you like to come and join us, or would you like to eat alone?" the blue haired girl asked humbly, quietly walking into the room and standing close to the woman sitting in bed.
The redhead glared, her lonely peach colored eye fixed on the blue haired youth, "You? I thought you were dead!"
"Well, to keep Dizzy safe, the military accepted that we take her in, they said she was officially dead so no one would try to control her." Johnny explained.
"Or hurt her." Another somewhat-robotic voice spoke from behind.
"Testament!" Dizzy smiled, "Why are you here? Why aren't you having dinner with the others?"
The raven haired, ashen skinned, half dead man quietly walked into the room ands stood between the redhead and blue-haired girl, "Dizzy, would you please leave us and go join the others?"
The girl looked from the blond, to the redhead and then to the back of the raven-haired one's head, "Um, alright." She nodded and slowly turned around, leaving.
Testament took a moment before he spoke, "You are a hunter, if you try to come one step near her, you do realize I can still hurt you, do you not?"
"Bah!" Baiken cried angrily, "And why would I want to waste my time with a little midget like her? I have bigger fish to fry." the redhead looked away, fuming.
That made the scythe appear, he was angry, "What did you say?"
"I said I have bigger fish to fry, bone head! Besides, I don't like to waste my time on a wimpy girl that won't even fight back! It'll just blunt my sword." Baiken hissed back.
"Now now! Easy you two, no fighting!" Johnny interrupted, standing between the half-geared man and one-eyed, one-armed woman, "Testament, please remember that lady Baiken is just not in a condition to fight." He reasoned.
The geared man huffed a small curse, his scythe vanishing, "Damned woman, if you ever speak ill of my precious Dizzy again it'll be your tongue!"
"Oh sure as if there is nothing else you Gears haven't tried to hack off!" she then shot back atop her lungs, "Go F--- yourself, damn you!"
Testament drew in a breath and held it before he looked at the blond, "I expect her to be gone by the time we land." Was all he said as he left the room.
"A-- h---…" she cursed him, jerked to the pirate and snapped, "What the hell is he doing here? You're going to tell me he needed protection, too?"
Johnny sighed, "No, Testament is here to look after Dizzy."
"I don't see why he should care, she's better off dead." She hissed, glaring at the door.
Johnny shook his head, clearly handling those two will be quite troublesome.
"Anyway," he spoke again, "would you like to join us for dinner?"
"And see that sorry ass again? No thank you! I'd rather starve!" she hissed and glared at the lonesome window decorating one wall.
Johnny sighed, "Alright, I'll ask the girls to save you something." He said as he walked out, "Oh, and by the way,"
She turned to look at him, still irritated.
"What size are you? B cup? C cup? Or are you an F cup?" he then quickly yelped, dodging a vase that came crashing into the door.
At the dinner table, Johnny sat himself in his chair at the head of the table, and picked up his spoon, ready to begin, but only then did he see that May was still sitting in her chair next to him and pouting. He sighed again, she was still jealous and upset, he knew that even if he apologized to her in front of the whole crew, it won't satisfy her enough. Other than that, at the other side, Dizzy quietly ate her meal, while Testament who was sitting on a couch far away from the table, simply closed his eyes in light meditation.
The blond decided that after the meal, he would ask the geared man and redhead to clear out their differences, it would be a very long time before they reach their destination and he knew that they would bump into each other again once this is over, he didn't want them to hurt each other since Dizzy likes them both. Yes, Dizzy had told him once that she liked Baiken because she found her a strong willed woman, she also told him that she wished if she was that strong minded too, someday.
Johnny could only pray that their trip would pass well…
Baiken growled to herself, cursing their mere existence of gears and cursing the one who made them, curing him or her for even thinking of creating them. Feeling her injured eye then moving her hand to where her lost arm was at, she cursed again and again. Little did she know that her cursing made a certain bounty hunter gain a strange headache and a sudden cold. The redhead sighed, finally cooling down after what felt like hours of cursing. She was tired, weary, dizzy and damn hungry; she remembered that she hadn't had a fair meal in what seemed like a whole week.
'No way in hell am I going to beg them for food, I'd rather starve!' she thought to herself, thinking over and over about the earlier conversation, 'So that gear guy protects Dizzy, huh? Wonder what he sees in her, she's just some stupid, half-breed brat! She cant even fend for herself, the little midget.' She brushed a red strand from her face, 'She's got her arms and eyes, why the hell were she pulling back? Why the hell didn't she fight me? I was going for the kill back then, but when I saw that she was avoiding my attacks and actually trying not to fight back really pissed me off.'
Right about then, there was a slight knock on the door.
The redhead said nothing, impatiently waiting to see who it was.
Excusing herself in, blue hair bounced at the smiling youth, "Hello, lady Baiken, I hope we didn't let you wait for long." She smiled sweetly, carrying a small tray with food; a bowl of soup, rice and karri with a class of juice and a loaf of bread.
Baiken looked at the tray, paused, shot her a glare, but then she still said nothing.
Dizzy blinked, her brows met in uneasiness, "Um, I'm sorry, you're probably hungry." She said as she placed the bed-set tray in front of her, "Enjoy."
"Why?" was the redheaded woman's only word, still glaring at the nervous youth.
Dizzy fidgeted with her fingers before she smiled again, "Um, because I thought you were hungry?"
Baiken eased her glare and shook her head, "No, I'm asking you: Why did you hold back when we fought?"
The gear-youth blinked, "Um, that's because- I didn't want to hurt you." She saw the glare harden again, so she assumed that the redhead felt offended, "I mean that- well, my powers get out of control, and I didn't want you to get hurt! I honestly meant you no offence!"
The redhead sighed and shook her head, "Are you always this apologetic? It's pathetic!" she sneered.
Dizzy hunched her shoulders and took a step back, "Uh, I'm sorry." She quickly turned around and left the room.
Baiken stared, paused and then looked at the set-tray at her lap.
As much as it looked and smelled so appetizing, she just didn't have the gut-feeling to actually go ahead and eat it, actually, her guts hurt and her stomach twisted and churned with some emotion she was unable to identify. She shook her head, , carefully maneuvering out of bed, she couldn't carry the tray away with one arm so she pushed it back, she slowly looked down at the plate before her and sighed. Marching with wobbly feet, she made her way towards the window, touching the warmed glass she pushed the satin drapes away to reveal the bright sunlight.
She stared in awe. Nothing before her but the great baby blue sky and fluffy clouds flooring it, it was an amazing sight. Baiken felt her jaw drop for a few seconds before she remembered to shut it back. It was one of the most amazing things she had seen, it was beautiful beyond imagination. 'If Mito was here, he'd want to take a picture.' She smiled. Yes, Anji Mito was that kind of men, he'd easily fall in love with anything he finds interesting, starting from god's creation of sea, sky and earth to the creation of women and herself. She had always found him different than other men, though. He was nice, compassionate, caring, and a little like an annoyingly perky brother sometimes, but still she liked that about him, it granted her a sense of family.
'Birthday?' the word echoed in her head, 'Just how old would he be? How old is he, anyway? One thing I'm sure of, he's younger than I am. But- maybe I should get him a gift, not that he doesn't deserve one, I like him just as much as he likes me, but I surly don't love him as much as he loves me.' She paused to think, 'I don't have time for love, I have to find That Man and skin his sorry ass for what he had done to me. I owe him pain!' she felt about her injured eye and the frown retuned, tightening the space between her brows.
But then there was another knock on the door…
Before she could say anything, someone swung the door open almost too forcefully.
Dark-red eyes glared at the Asian woman as raven black hair flowed down the male shoulders, Testament marched closer, his scythe summoned, the intention of killing off the woman clear in his eyes, "You! How dare you hurt my precious one?" he shot, scythe head directed towards her.
Baiken stood still, she was still weary and her legs weren't helping her stand up straight, "What?" she asked angrily, "What the hell are you talking about?"
"You damn woman, you dare ask?" Testament hissed and his gloved made a squeaking sound as he tightened his grip on the handle of his scythe, "I should have known better than to have left you live this long, I should have killed you!"
The redhead glared, "Oh, as if you can." She hissed, "Just let me get my sword and lets see if you're as good as you say." She began, now turning towards the next room, the room where Johnny had told her that her weapons were at, but before she could take more than three steps away, the scythe came to her view.
Testament had swung the scythe to stop her, "Oh, running away, are you? So likely of you humans, such cowards!" he sneered.
"Bone head, were you listening?" she shot back, shoving away his scythe, not caring for the small cut it made to her finger tips, "I said I'll go get my sword and beat your f---ing ass, so shut up!" she growled and continued on her way towards the door.
Right about then, Johnny arrived, "Oh! Thank goodness, for a minute I thought I'd be late." He walked into the room, seeing the tension and the woman heading towards the room, he hurried to block her path, he stood at the mentioned room's door, "What are you doing?"
"I'm going to get my sword, so beat it!" she tried to push him away, but he was stronger than she was, "Move aside, damn it!"
"No can do, you're in no condition to be fighting." He turned to look at the geared man, "And testament, do you have any idea how upset Dizzy would be if she found out that you tried to kill this woman?"
The raven haired man frowned, "It'll be for her own good. What proof do we have that this wretched human won't try to kill my precious one again?"
"Are you always this stupid?" the redhead growled, "I told you I have no interest in that waste of life! You can keep her, damn it!"
That made Testament even more angry, "Why you filthy human! I ought to- !" but then he stopped, he felt a tug on his arm so he jerked around to see who it was, much to his shock, he met eye to eye with the blue haired youth, "Dizzy?"
"Please! You didn't have to be so angry, Testament." She said apologetically, "She's just upset, you don't have to be so upset at her." She told.
Johnny blinked, the redheads somewhat shook, as if she were loosing her balance, "Hey, are you alright?"
"I'm- I'm fine." Baiken murmured angrily, her lone hand touched her temple, "I just feel- lightheaded, all of a sudden." She hunched her shoulders and soothed her sore head, "I don't- feel so good."
Johnny wrapped an arm around her waist, despite her argument he scooped her up, "Now now! A woman like yourself should know when to quit! You're not in a condition to fight."
"Put me down, damn it! I can walk!" she weakly argued, pushing away his face with her lone hand.
Dizzy quickly picked up the tray and let the pirate place the woman back in bed, "Lady Baiken, I really think you should eat, you're not doing very well." She asked, still a little nervous around the redheaded woman.
Baiken sent her a weary glare before she tried to push herself up, but Johnny pushed her back down, "Uh- Hey!"
"Not a word! You need some sleep and nourishments or else you'll never leave bed." He argued.
"I'm fine!" she argued tiredly, "Why the hell do you people care, anyway?" she tried to push herself back up, but her head felt much too light, so she wearily plopped back down, head dizzies, resting on the pillow.
"Hey, our job is to look out for each other, isn't that right, Dizzy?" Johnny flashed her a grin.
"Uh, yes!" the blue haired girl nodded, a smile finally curved on her face, she placed the tray on a near by table and then walked closer to the redhead, "Lady Baiken, please feel free to ask us anything, I'll do what I can to help you."
Baiken glared, huffed and then turned to her side, looking away from the blue haired girl, "Bah, I don't need your f---ing pity! If my head didn't hurt so much I would've just left!" she hissed, curling over herself.
With that Johnny sighed and led the hurt youth out of the room, "Ah, please don't be upset Dizzy, lady Baiken is just not the kind that would just blurt out a 'thank you' most of the time." He shrugged.
Dizzy rubbed her wet ruby-red eyes but still smiled, "I understand, she's so strong, she doesn't like it when people show her affection, because she thinks it makes her look weak." She paused, "Right?" she sent sad eyes at the shaded blue pirate's eyes.
Johnny flashed her an assuring grin, "Yeah! That's it exactly!" he placed a hand on her shoulder and began leading her away, "We'll just give her some time to cool down and I'm sure it'll be alright."
"Right." Dizzy smiled and paused, suddenly she stood still, "Wait! Where's Testament?" she jerked to the blond.
Johnny stiffened, "Uh oh!"
They quickly looked at each other before Johnny dashed back to the room, twisting the door knob, he realized that it had been locked in, so he quickly began slamming his fist and calling the redhead's name. Hearting no response he took a peek through the key hole, all he saw was raven black hair and black leather before the key hole was blocked with something. Dizzy soon followed and they knocked on the door, still there was no response.
"Testament?" Johnny called, worry clear in shi voice.
"I need to have a word with her," the half-dead man spoke, "I would appreciate it if you leave us for now. I promise you I won't kill her."
Dizzy placed her hand on her heart, "Testament, please don't hurt her."
There was no respond.
Johnny sighed and took her hand, "C'mon, since he promised then I guess we can't complain, let's go now and hope they'll be alright."
She nodded and followed him, still a little doubtful; she glanced back at the door, praying that everything will be alright.
Baiken didn't hear anything for some time, for she had quickly fallen asleep after the pirate and girl had left, but something in the room made her brows twitch, her dream world was disturbed and she didn't see anything, nothing at all. Slowly rising from her sleep she pushed herself up and rubbed her weary, sleepy eye and blinked about a few times, scanning the room once more, she stopped dead in her tracks at the Goth-dressed man sat near by at the table, regarding her with such calm red eyes.
She looked at him, still weak and tired, she felt her strength being sucked right out of her and she badly needed to eat something, but seeing the tray next to him, she dare said nothing, she just sent him a glare, as if asking him why he was still there in the room with her. Neither did a move. Baiken sat hunkered in bed regarding the calm expression of the man before her, and he simply did the same.
He was a fine, good looking man, she had to admit. Besides his sad expression and feminine-like features, he was quite different. Ashen skin with a touch of dead-grey, with raven black hair, all silken and flowing down like a tattered sash, the leather Goth he wore showed only little features of his body. Small shoulders with long fine arms, a narrow chinned face with thin brows, his lips were pale but his eyes were bright deadly. His chest was flat and his leg that peeked from under the Goth-skirt bit was lengthy and chiseled, clearly like a man's leg, but oddly he didn't have a bit of body hair on him, almost- too feminine-like.
She found him strange, he weren't as buffed with muscles like Mito, nor was he somewhat-skinny like Zanuff, he was somewhere in between. He was male but possessed slight female beauty in a way that made him look all much too different than the rest of men. That made her wonder of his race, clearly he weren't American, he's clearly not Asian, so was he from Europe? She couldn't tell.
On the other hand, Testament regarded her features as well, amused of how stunningly beautiful she was despite her slight dismantled features. The lost eye was a blurry mark, not too clear unless you pay good attention that it's even there, the lost arm wasn't clear due to the fact that she wore long baggy sleeves, hiding the fact that she's actually missing the arm in the first place.
Her face was mellow and much too cute for a woman in her age, her thin brows met in a serious gaze and her lone peach-colored eye showed him nothing but the anger of the battle field. Her lips were pink and the straight line they formed were a clear sign on displeasure of his presence in the room with her. Her slumped shoulders were narrow, for a swordswoman, but yet her arms were lengthy as well, or her one arm at least.
Her chest was a different matter, though. As much as he had no interest in the opposite of sex, this female possessed a rather huge chest, not that it provoked him or anything, he just found it unusual for such a small woman. Her legs, on the other hand, he was unable to scan since she hid them under the bed cover, but from what he already seen from her, they were quite built.
It all came to conclusion that this woman is a trained warrior; he knew that for he had fought her once, long ago when the military had the bounty on Dizzy's head. She could have killed him if she wanted, he knew that, it just irritated him that she has pitied him enough to just slap him silly and let him go, but still he was relived to see that Dizzy had not been harmed as well, what turned his curiosity was the fact that the woman had come for Dizzy, and yet she didn't kill her, according to the blue-haired youth's words, the woman took pity on her as well and decided not to kill her, if that's the case then this woman is driven by emotion, not by sense of duty as he originally thought.
'Perhaps she's not as bad as I thought?' he thought to himself, still locking eyes with her, 'She probably fights because she feels it necessary, not because she wants too.' he told himself again.
"Well?" she then began, voice low and leveled, "What do you want? Why are you here?"
Testament drew in a breath, composing his thoughts, "I have come here to ask you: in the previous battle, why did you not kill me?"
She blinked, and her face showed that she was not expecting that question, but soon her brows met and she shrugged her shoulder, "Because you were just in my way, gear or not you weren't my target." She said in a matter-of-factly.
Testament's brows eased a little, "Is that so? Then why did you not kill Dizzy? Was she not your target?" it came much too quietly.
She brushed a red strand of hair from her face, "That kid didn't even fight back, something that weak cant be as dangerous as they claimed, it was all a bluff, and besides, if she has a death wish then damn it, I don't want to be the one doing it, if she wants to die then let someone else do it, I want to keep myself out of it." She hissed.
Testament paused, "And, if I may ask, why do you hate gears so much?"
That seemed to trigger it, for she had widened her eye as big as a saucer and grit her teeth, her lone hand clutched the bed sheet and she looked as if she were about to explode, "What? And you dare ask?" she hollered atop her voice, "Gears destroyed my home, killed my family, friends and loved ones right before my eyes! They tore me up and turned me into what I am right now for their f---ing entertainment! They keep on haunting us! Killing people and destroying more homes and killing more and more people every f---ing day and you dare ask why?" she stopped to catch her breath, breathing like an enraged bear.
Testament widened his eyes just a little, he blinked and focused on the woman's face, 'Her eye- is rimmed in red?' he blinked. Yes, she was holding back tears, he could see in the glimmer of her eye, she was in pain and yelling at him triggered it, "I'm sorry." He then spoke.
"Sorry?" she laughed with hatred, "Well f--- it up you ass! Sorry wont bring them back nor will it make this frigin' word a better place, damn you!" she hollered again, she took a grip over the pillow and threw it at him, "Damn you! Damn it all!" she cried again.
Testament cough the pillow before it collided with his face, clearly she was very upset. Lowering the pillow he noted that her ears were beginning to redden around the earlobes, her eye was squeezed shut now and she rubbed it with her lone eye, slowly the redness vanished and she sent him a glare.
"Just tell me when this thing lands, I want to get out of here as soon as possible." She murmured, looking away.
Testament just regarded her appearance again, she looked all much so shook-up, her breath was barely leveling and she kept swinging her head as if it weighted a ton, he sighed and stood up, extending the pillow back to her, "Anger is blinding, you should never let it get to your head." He advice.
She swallowed and then angrily stared at the pillow, rubbed her temple and then looked back at him, "Why didn't you kill me?"
He blinked, "I beg your pardon?"
"A few minutes ago, and right now, don't you find me weak enough? You could easily kill me off, cant you?" she murmured, her eye still somewhat-rimmed in red.
The half-geared man sighed heavily, "Woman, I do not kill for pleasure, nor do I have anything against you." He began, "My anger towards you was driven by my sense of duty towards my precious Dizzy. You were a threat back then and my job was to stop you from harming her, but now, since she is no longer your target, then there is no reason for me to lay a finger on you." He fluffed the pillow and placed it behind her at the head of the bed, "And besides, it seems that she has taken a liking to you." A small chuckle echoes in those last words.
"She likes me?" the redhead gasped, "Why the hell would she like me? I tried to kill her, damn it!" she angrily argued, "This isn't some sort of sick jock, is it?"
Testament shook his head, "For Dizzy, you are something like an idol, I guess."
"An idol?" the woman gawked, "Okay, now I'm sure this is a jock." She shook her head in a slight growled.
Testament's brow twitched, but he ignored it, "Dizzy finds you a very strong willed woman, she thinks that you are very brave and strong in both body and mind, she told me that- she wishes that maybe one day, she'd be at least a little like you, more confident in herself, and maybe a little more- strong willed." He explained, "I am not a human, not am I as strong as you are, Baiken, but one thing I am sure of, the only thing I dislike about you is your short temper." He frowned.
She glared, "Oh really? Well did you know that my short temper saved me from getting raped a couple of times? If I were like them ditzy cool dames I would've been dead a long time ago, my anger is the only thing keeping me alive, my hate towards gears and That Man are the fire that still burn in my soul." She hissed.
Testament's brows met in what seemed like displeasure, "I know this might sound strange, coming from someone who was once a human, but I myself dislike humans, for I find you despicable, lowly, cowardly creatures that live by leeching on each other and on everything that surrounds you."
"Oh yeah? Well you gears survive on leeching on us! How the hell are we supposed to fend for ourselves if you keep wrecking everything we build?" she argued.
"Well if you humans weren't so selfish and redeemed yourselves of your own sins, you never would have been punished like so!" he shot back.
"Oh? Well if it weren't for us humans there never would have been any Gears to begin wish! I swear, if I find out just who was the f---ing ass who thought of the damn thing I'll rip his throat out!" she sneered.
The gear-man huffed angrily, "Well it's your human's fault for letting it get out of hand."
"Well I'm not the one who made them! Why blame me?"
"Well it was never my choice to be a gear, so you cant blame me for this either!"
There was a small stretch of silence…
Baiken's brows eased in a somewhat-concerned look, "You- weren't always a gear?"
Testament's muscles stung, the mere memory of his human life came rushing back, but he bottled it in and closed his eyes, "Yes." He paused, now looking at his gloved hands, "I was very young, all I remember was that my parents were killed, a man named Kliff undersun took me in, and eventually became my father." He smiled, a small sad smile, "I loved him… he was everything I had."
"Loved?" she regretted saying the word out loud, so she quickly pressed her fingers to her lips and shook her head, "Oh, just forget it…"
Testament smiled, he sat next to her on the bedside and looked down at the floor, "He- was my father, he loved like a father and raised me as if I were his own son. I joined the crusaders and then… I died."
She hung her head and looked away.
Testament closed his eyes and cupped his face, "When I came to, I learned that father died on the hands of Justice, and that the PWAB had taken me in, transforming me into a gear."
The redhead perked, "The PWAB? But I thought they were an anti-gear group!" she argued.
The man gave a small sad chuckle, "That was when they were a part of the Holy Orders, once the 100 years battle ended, they separated from the Holy Order and became a group that manufactured Gears."
"Why?" she asked, now scooting next to him, mostly because of interest of the information.
"I do not know." She shook his head and then looked a little up, looking at the simply decorated rug under his feet, "I just remember being led or hypnotized by Justice, unable to defy her commands, helping her escape the time-prison and then chaos was loose."
"Justice was a she?" the redhead gawked.
Testament nodded, "Yes, she was a woman, no one knew how she truly looked like, I was told that the armor that covered her body could only be broken by one of the Outrage. I assume it was either Ky or Sol's doing, but it's hard to say who it really way." He paused and knot his brows, "I- do remember seeing Sol back then, though. I do not remember that day very well."
The redhead scratched her head and then let herself sit closer next to him, "So you're saying that you used to be human, got killed and the guys who were supposed to be your allies betrayed you and made you into what you are right now?"
Testament nodded silently, eyes closed.
"I… I'm sorry, I didn't know." She looked away, "I've always thought that gears were created out of other things, never did I think that they were once actual human beings." She scratched her head aging and then turned to look at him again, "But, if you were once a human, why do you hate us?"
"Because I saw my false self in you; Ignorance, greed, envy and uncontrollable feelings that turns into something far much worse than a gear." He squeezed his eyes shut and then slowly turned to lock his eyes with her, "Sometimes, do you not hate what you are? Do you wish that there was some way, you could just go back and redo your wrongs?" he felt his voice weaver, the sure sign of tears stung the back of his eyes, "I cannot die, not anymore, for I have already died once. The only way I can redeem my mistakes is to care for Dizzy, she is the reason I still live."
Baiken nodded in acknowledgment, "I think I understand now." She looked at her lone hand and sighed slightly, "You are not who you are because you wanted it to be that way, you are living a life that was forced on you, and yet, you can not change it." She clinched her fist and looked at him, "I guess, you're the same as me, somehow." She spared him a small smile, "We're not so different, you live to protect what is precious to you, while I fight to protect what is left that I find precious to me."
There came another stretch of silence…
They looked into each others eyes, a soft feeling of acknowledgment and understanding made each others presence more welcomed. A gear who hated humans and a human who hated gears. It was only the beginning of the line. They smiled at each other, thinking that: Perhaps things would be for the best from now on; there is no need to fight each other, not anymore.
Only to be broken but the sound of something strange…
Baiken's cheeks turned red as she placed her hand on her loudly complaining stomach, "Oy…" she blushed herder with every growl and looked away from the man, "Damn stomach, it has a brain of it's own." She exclaimed.
Testament fought a chuckle, paused and then looked at the tray, "I think your meal had gotten cold by now."
"Who cares, it's not like I'm going to eat it all." She shrugged and tried to stand, but only ended up losing balance again.
This time, Testament caught her fall, "Careful! Are you alright?"
Her heartbeats hammered in her head, "Uh, yeah." She knew why her head hurt, but she did not know why her chest ached as well, her heartbeats thumped harder, "I just feel a little light headed." She stood up, brushed him off and walked over to the table, picked up a spoon and took a sip of the soup, "Hmm, this is pretty good!"
Testament smiled, "That's because Dizzy made it, she said it was especially for you."
Baiken turned to look at him, paused and then looked at the try and then sighed, "Gee, I guess I have to apologize for being mean to her, huh?" she smiled tiredly, "She's a pretty good cook."
'Perhaps this woman is different?' he asked himself, watching her as he slowly ate, 'Yes, she is defiantly different.' He smiled to himself, glad that he had probably found the only human female, with alliance of Johnny, who he could entrust to care for Dizzy.
He smiled again, a slight flutter made his heart pound in his chest, so he explained it as a mere result of excitement…
"Finally! A place with solid land!" Baiken spoke as she looked out at the ship's dock.
She wore a sun-orange, orchid and cherry-blossom decorated kimono with matching hair sticks and wooden sandals. Her hair was fixed into rolled buns with the sticks fixed to keep them up, her make up was nothing more that blood-red lipstick and gloss, she had argued with May and Dizzy who insisted that should put some sort of make up on, so she had to agree on something just to shut them up. Her feet wore simple white socks and the wooden sandals were practically cladding her foot, only her toes were peeking from the head of the sandal. Johnny had whistled and flirt around her for a fair time till she accidentally stepped on his foot, because she knew that if she didn't do it then May would clog him one with her anchor. 'Better his foot than his head.' She mildly reasoned to herself.
The only thing that had her mind thinking was that the new year part was set in the ship's dining room; Chipp would blind fold Anji and guide him here where everyone is ready to surprise him, but what had her blushing out of her face was the fact that Johnny told her, which was: 'Well if you wont give him a gift, then you could make it up to him by being his partner for tonight.' As much as she wanted to argue, she couldn't. This was Anji Mito's party and as much as she found him annoyingly too perky, she just couldn't bring herself to crush him as if he was nothing but a bug.
She cared, she didn't want to admit it, but she really cared.
"Are you ready?" a voice came from behind, so she jerked around to look.
"Oh, it's- you?" she blinked, gawking.
Testament smiled, his ashen cheeks pinked at her stare, "What is it? Is there something on my face?"
"No!" she quickly replied, still a little baffled, "It's just that… you look- different." She took a step back to get a better look.
"You think this looks alright?" he asked as he caressed his clothes, a little nervous.
"Oh- I think you look ravishing!" she caught herself saying it, she quickly bit her tongue and looked away, her cheeks pinked.
Testament wore a night-black male hakama with silver blossoms decorating it all, an art of the moon to the corner where a pair of Cranes flew away; other than his usual black chocker, his appearance looked completely different. Chipp had called earlier and asked if everyone would dress in a Japanese way, just to give Mito a better sense of family, so Johnny and the crew dressed up, and only in a matter of minutes will the mentioned party-star arrive.
"He's here!" Johnny's voice echoed through the ward, wearing a dark red male hakama and his trench coat was still on.
"Oh?" was Baiken's only reply.
"Hurry up and take your places people! Let's get this party rolling!" he laughed and quickly walked away.
"Right." Testament spoke, a soft smile curved on his lips.
Baiken did not know what that strange feeling was, but her muscles instantly tensed and her stomach knotted when the man besides her took her hand.
"Let's go, shall we?" Testament smiled.
She nodded, not a word spoken.
Sitting quietly on a small wooden chair, sitting behind a dark red drape, Baiken started forking back a few strands of hair that Dizzy and May let out, May exclaimed that it would make her look cute. The redhead didn't know much about being cute, but the hair tickling her chin and cheeks was beginning to get quite bothersome. After a short moment of silence the lights were out and she could hear giggling and whispers, so she took a peek from behind the drape. She blinked once, seeing the door slowly swing open with a slight creek as if it were a scene from some horror movie.
Anji Mito gave a nervous glance to the silver haired man besides him, "Uh, Chipp, are you sure about this?"
"Yeah, Johnny said that he'll be with the girls celebrating at a friend's house, so we can use the ship's dining room." The silver haired man shrugged.
The Asian man and ninja stood still at the door, staring blankly at the pitch dark room.
"Something wrong, Mito?" Chipp smiled.
"Ah, I don't know, I just think it would've been better if we had the new year party at our apartment, we didn't have to bother Johnny with all of this." He paused, "But don't you find it a little strange?"
"What is?" Chipp grinned.
Anji looked at him and gave him a flat stare, "Chipp, why are you grinning?"
The ninja smiled, "Because you look as tight as a cat on a string, ease up Mito, it's not like this place it gonna blow up or anything." He reached out for the light switch.
Baiken quickly let go of the drape and sat back, waiting.
"We're simply getting ready for the big-"
"AH!" Anji cried and toppled back, falling on his rear with a loud thump, heart beating hard in shi chest and head, "Wh- nani- u-huh?" he blinked, his spectacles had tilted off the bridge of his nose, "What- is going on here?" the Asian man managed to breath out, her quickly looked at this still standing silver haired friend, "Chipp?"
Chipp Zanuff chuckled, "Happy birthday, Mito!" he took his hand and pulled him up.
Baiken pressed her lips, trying to bottle in the giggle that almost made it out her throat. She wanted to take a peek and see how he looked like, but she didn't want to blow out the surprise, which was herself.
"B- birthday?" Mito's voice wavered, "But- how- when- who told you?"
"Lets just say I know." Chipp chuckled, and then turned to the blonde pirate, "Ready?"
"As ready as ready could be!" Johnny chuckled.
"Huh?" Anji Mito blinked, "What are you talking about?"
Baiken listened carefully to the sound of foot steps coming closer, she crossed her fingers and hoped it'll work out.
"Well now, Mito. As a special surprise, we got you a special something for tonight."
"For me?" he asked.
Chipp only laughed, "Oh I gotta see this."
"Oh no, it's for Oji-san, not you!" May's voice complained.
Anji groaned, "Please, May-chan! Don't call me Oji-san! I'm not that old!" he whined.
"It's just a peek." Chipp laughed.
Baiken's heart skipped a beat as the side of the drape was shoved aside.
Peach met blood-red eyes.
Baiken felt her stomach splash with something cold, she didn't know why, but she actually felt nervous.
"Oh My GOD!" Chipp gawked, breathless, "I don't believe it!"
"Nani nani?" Anji's voice came closer, "What is it Chipp?"
Chipp sent the drape wide open, "Mito, set your eyes on this baby!"
Baiken squeezed her eye tight before she blinked a few more times, adjusting to the light. She's been behind that drape and in the dark for a fair time, she eye hurt a little. Once she gazed up at the chocolate brown eyes that held nothing but shocked surprise, she shrugged a shoulder, "Um, Happy birthday?"
"Nee-chan!?" Anji cried, his jaw dropped, scanning her up and down, stumped speechless, "I- you- how did- It's- ?" he stuttered, words chugged in his throat, unable to come out.
"Before you get the wrong idea," Baiken spoke, catching his attention, "I'm just going to be your partner for tonight because I forgot to get you a gift. I'm just being nice with you because it's your birthday."
Mito's eyes went glassy before he launched towards her, trapped in a bear hug, "Oh I love you!" he hugged her tight, "You don't know how much this means to me!" He squeezed her tighter, burying his face in her neck.
"Ack!" Baiken struggled, "Oh I know, trust me I know." She struggled some more, "Mito you're crushing me!" she finally wheezed.
"Huh? Oh!" he quickly released her, "Sorry! I'm so sorry! Are you alright?"
"Aw…" she whined and rubbed about her sore shoulders, "Gees Mito, that's quite a death grip you got there!"
He nervously chuckled and scratched his head, his eyes were slightly rimmed in red as his nose-tip pinked, the grin never left his face.
Baiken adjusted his frames of glass, she just spared him a smile.
"Thank you, Nee-chan." He smiled again and hugged her once more, less tighter than before.
Baiken sighed, he was embarrassing her already. 'This night had better be over soon.' She thought to herself, but then, something caught her attention.
Testament stood at the far side of the room, silent and this- unreadable expression on his face, once their eyes met, he smiled and nodded, after a comforting silence he turned around and left the room, no one else seemed to notice. Baiken could only hold on to Mito as he hugged her more and more, murmuring his joy and how much he is touched by all of this, all she could do was let him pour it all out, she silently stroked his head, thinking silently.
"Testament?" a soft, coy voice called, blue hair bounced as she youth stopped pacing, "What are you doing here? You're missing the party."
The man turned his gaze from the full moon to look down at the girl he treasured, "I think it would be better if I stay out of it, Dizzy. I don't want to ruin the party."
"Why would you think that?" she asked, now standing next to him. "You didn't have to come out here, it's cold, maybe you should come inside?" she offered.
Testament smiled ands shook his head, "No thank you, I- ?"
"Ah! So there you are!" a certain redheaded woman walked in, "Hey, I've been looking all over for you two!"
Dizzy blinked, "Lady Baiken?"
"Is something the matter?" the man asked, worried.
"Of course something's the matter! You're going to miss the cake!" she laughed, took the man's hand and tugged it, dragging him with her, "C'mon! I ought to full that scrawny body of your with something!"
"Uh-?" Dizzy blinked, completely taken back.
Did the redheaded swordswoman just invite her caretaker to the party? She accepted him? She's acting as if he were some sort of old friend! Dizzy did a double take, 'Why is Testament- blushing? Could he be- could they- ?' ideas poured into her head.
Oh the many possibilities!
She stifled an excited squeal and hurried after them.
"Hey, Dizzy!" Johnny greeted, "Please tell me I'm not seeing things." He said as he pointed towards the redhead who was introducing the Gear-man to Mito and Chipp. "This is a crazy dream, right?"
Dizzy smiled, "Actually Johnny, I think it's cute!" she giggled and walked away.
Johnny's shades tilted off the bridge of his nose, 'Oh no!' he thought, 'Girls and fluff don't match!' he spared a certain brown haired, brown eyed pirate girl a glance, 'They defiantly don't match! One case is bad enough, I hope I don't end up taking care of another!'
After a while, Testament, Anji and Chipp started chatting, that until Chipp broke the conversation and took both Baiken and Anji away, later he came back alone, with a few scratches and bruises from a certain angered redhead, he said that eh left them in the guest room so they'd have some quality time together. Testament smiled, sure, those two were cute together, he had to admit that the redhead was quiet the special kind of woman, and Mito seemed like a very nice, if not a little too perky kind of guy, but something about the whole matter made him just a little edge, as if- he didn't want them together.
Was he- jealous?
He shook his head hard and excused himself, now back to the ship's outside and dock, he leaned back on the railing and gazed up at the moon. Soon enough Dizzy arrived, just like always. She would stand next to him and keep him company until one of them decides to talk, which is usually her. She had always been so compassionate and caring, he loved that about her. He loved her like a daughter.
"So?" Dizzy finally smiled, "Do you like her?"
Oddly enough, Testament did not remember the lest time his heart beat so fast, nor when such a cold weather felt all hot all of a sudden, "Pardon?"
"Lady Baiken, do you like her?" she asked again, this eager look on her face.
The man took a minute to re-set his programs, his heart was beating much too loudly in his head, "I- find her very special, Mito is quite lucky to have found her."
The eagerness of Dizzy's face half-fell, "Oh, right… Mito." She then giggled, eagerness back to full, "But I think you and Lady Baiken look good together."
Testament sent her an utterly shocked expression, "What?" he barely wheezed.
Dizzy's cheeks reddened, "No really, I mean it!" she took a step closer to him and held his hand, "I mean, I would really think it would be nice if you got yourself a girl, that way you wont have to be all alone anymore." She smiled.
"And since when was I alone?" he quirked a brow.
Dizy blinked, "Um, ever since I moved with the Jellyfish pirates?"
"Dizzy," he began, now holding her hands, "I do not care about being alone, what matters to me is that you are safe."
"Please, Testament, for once, I'd like to see you do something that makes you happy!" she gently argued, squeezing his hand, "Don't do it for me! Do it for yourself because you want to!"
The man smiled and nodded, "I understand, but if you are planning on hooking me with lady Baiken then I advice that you don't, she's already taken."
"She is?" she blinked, "By whom?"
"Mito, of course! Did you not see how he cared for her? He obviously loves her."
"Well- I always thought they liked each other, I never thought it was love." She paused, "You mean, they're not like us?"
Testament released a small sigh, "No, perhaps Baiken's feelings towards him are like us, but his towards her are completely different."
"So he loves her but she doesn't love him?" the shocked look on her face was haunting.
"She loves him, but not as much as he loves her." Testament soothed, chuckled and then patted her head, "Think not of this, my dear. These things are much too confusing for you to understand right now."
She nodded, acknowledgment clear in her eyes.
And so they spent that night, no more words were said, they shared their time together gazing out at the moon…
"Do you really have to go?" Dizzy pouted slightly, "I wish you could've stayed just a little more."
Baiken smiled and brushed a red strand from her face, she picked up her traveling back, hauled it over here shoulder and turned to look at the blue haired girl, "Sorry, I have things to do, but I'll be sure to drop you a visit whenever I can." She smiled.
"Us included!" Chipp chuckled.
Anji smiled, "Three heads are better than one."
"I said visit, not cause chaos!" Baiken growled, "Don't tell me you guys are going to try and put wine in my punch again?"
Anji blinked, confused, "Wine?"
Chipp stiffened, "Uh- what wine?"
Anji and Baiken sent Chipp a cold stare, "Chipp?" they warned in union.
"Ah- umm, I'll just to get a cab!" he chuckled and sped off and away.
"Well that explains the fuzzy feeling I had last night." Anji mumbled.
"So you really were drunk… somewhat." She shook her head, "That Zanuff, he just wont learn."
"Um- Testament, are you going too?" Dizzy directed her attention to the Goth-dressed man besides her.
"Yes, the forest is calling me, and I need to return." He told.
"Maybe we'll met again?" Baiken asked, almost as if offering.
Testament smiled, "Yes, hopefully."
Anji blinked but he said nothing.
Testament was the first to leave, soon trio were on their way…
"Ne, Nee-chan," Anji Mito began, lugging his traveling bag and hers over his shoulder, "can I ask you something?"
Baiken felt the rim of her new kimono and smiled up at him, "What?"
He smiled back, "Well, since you spent some time with them, do you hate them?"
Baiken blinked, "The girls were clingy and a bit annoying, but weren't we always in that age?"
Anji chuckled, "Um, no, I was talking about Testament and Dizzy. Do you still hate gears?"
She paused in her words before she finally spoke, "No, not anymore, not those two at least."
"Really?" he smiled, "Could you tell me what happened?"
She blinked, looking ahead, shook her head and then slapped his shoulder, "Oh just shut up!" she argued, the faintest sign of pink on her cheeks, "I need to skin Zanuff's ass for getting you drunk last night."
Mito chuckled and watched her speed up, Chipp soon appeared a short space before them, "I see…"
"There you are!" Baiken hollered as she took a grip of silver hair, "I ought to smack you one, you dope!" she growled.
"Ow Ow Ow! Easy on the hair!" Chipp argued in pain, "leggo!"
Anji Mito sighed, 'Okay, so maybe she didn't change all that much.' He smiled.
Watching the redhead he loves argue, scold and kick about his silver haired ninja friend, Anji Mito smiled juts a little wider. He did not know what she had done, nor what could have happened in that time she spent on the ship, but one thing he was sure of, she is no longer angry at gears, or those two at least. 'I think this might be a step forward for the best, don't you think, Nee-chan?' he told himself.
'Yes, a sure step forwards…'
'For the best…'
=-=-= END =-=-=
A/N: if you hate it Malz, I completely understand and I apologize, this is the best I could think of… ;;