Here's a new story, even though I should really be working my old ones first. It's not my fault One Piece is awesome!
All of CP9 will be playing major rolls here, but the story will center most around Kaku and Lucci. However this will not be a KakuxLucci pairing. I have no problem with yaoi, but that's not where I want this to go.
Anyways I don't one One Piece or any of the characters.
Hope you enjoy.
Twenty years back one little girl became the first known person in the history of the Marines to survive a Buster Call, and now the woman she grew into could boast to surviving two. As if that's not enough, she wasn't alone. No, the entire target pirate crew, a small battalion of Water 7 ruffians, three Galley-La foremen, two giants, and a pair of king bulls all made it out of the 'ultimate attack' alive.
It was of very small comfort that Enies Lobby was effectively reduced to rubble. The Courthouse and the Tower of Justice, symbols of the World Government's inescapable authority, were gone, and the worst part was that the only people who didn't make it off the island were the first ones everybody who knew of their existence would bet on. Looking at the charred aftermath, if they were in there somewhere than not even the superhuman assassins of Cipher Pol 9 could have lived.
The fact that the intended targets escaped the island was not an issue of the attack's effectiveness. The battle might have been lost, but the Buster Call is a force of destruction and in that it was successful. Enies Lobby was truly an island of no survivors.
However, and as absurd as this sounds, that was only in one dimension.
That's right. There's another Enies Lobby, or rather an antispace that corresponds to the real one, and it was in that impossible place that the only female member of CP9 came too with a rousing scream of "THAT BITCH!!!"
Kalifa stared at herself in horror. It wasn't enough that her glasses were gone and her lovely blond hair was a matted mess, but that loathsome little redhead she was fighting had shredded the front of her clothes so badly she might as well be naked. Perhaps hiding her key in her cleavage was not the best idea, but this was going too far!
The groans her shrill voice solicited from Jyabura and Fukurou brought her back to the situation and she threw the white sheet that had slipped down back over her shoulders.
Jyabura achingly sat up and spit out the iron flavor of the blood that was pooling in his mouth. Kalifa couldn't see him too well, but she could tell he was pawing at his chest, and from the winces this caused, he was injured. Then his fuzzy, barely featured face fell on her. Of all the unknowns they were currently faced with, he picked out the least significant, opened his mouth, and asked, "What's with the sheet?"
Kalifa gave him her usual deadpan stare, not letting on how blind she was without her glasses, and said, "That's sexual harassment."
Jyabura snorted and turned his attention to his surroundings instead. He was completely unconcerned that she had been stripped by the enemy, and Kalifa actually appreciated this. It meant he had confidence in her. He didn't assume the worst because he knew that if anyone ever tried such a thing, they would be force fed their own heart.
"What the hell?" he deemed to state next. "Where are we, the Land of Lime Gelatin?"
She squinted around and, though she couldn't make out any details, she would recognize that eerie shade of emerald anywhere. "We're in between Blueno's airdoors," she responded, letting out a little of her apprehension. This was perfect. "The bombardment can't reach us here." As she spoke something erupted near by and showered them with particles and billowy stuff; shrapnel and smoke from the mortars. It was little more than an optical illusion though, and it passed harmlessly through them. "See?"
The man still didn't look satisfied. "Okay, then where's Blueno?"
And he was right. Fukurou was still lying nearby. Kalifa assumed he was conscious as his face was scrunched in pain and he was making little whimpering noises while rubbing his palms against his brow; a simple headache most likely. Kumadori was in a state she didn't want to accept as death. His mouth was hanging open, both eyes wide and rolled back, and no sign of breathing. She looked at him, took in these details, and then stopped thinking about it. Kaku was spread eagle on his back right next to her. He was at least breathing, but it was slow and shallow, and a soft, sick noise accompanied each rise of his chest. There was no Rob Lucci and no Blueno.
"I don't know. He's probably checking on Lucci and Spandam," she answered without concern.
"Well he'd better get back soon," Jyabura grumbled as he stood up, "This place is freaking me out." He went to Fukurou and nudged the huge round man with his foot. "Hey motor-mouth, you alive?" he asked in usual his growl. His victim answered with a series of close mouthed mumbles. Jyabura rolled his eyes. He leaned over, grabbed the pull for the golden zipper that was Fukurou's mouth, and yanked it open.
As soon as his lips were parted Fukurou started whining, "My head, chapapa!" in his childish voice.
Jyabura frowned at this. "Suck it up, wimp. You're fine." He then turned to Kumadori.
Kalifa looked like she was trying to bring Kaku around, but her attention was still on Jyabura and the inspection of his partner. After a moment he sighed and started massaging his temples, mumbling something barely audible about "morons" and "overdoing shit."
"Is he…" she didn't want to finish that question. Due to the nature of their occupation, they were all trained not to form any sort of attachments. Despite this, Kalifa couldn't help but suffer at the thought that Kumadori might be dead. He was easily the friendliest member of their team, and though most people from outside CP9 found him annoying, headquarters was a dull and serious place. Blueno was quiet, Kaku had one of those unobtrusive personalities, and she could do without Fukurou's rumor mongering, Jyabura's pissing contests, or Lucci's pretensions, but a Tower of Justice void of the mighty dramatist's loud voice and strange antics was a painful thought.
"He's alive," came the answer. Yet, Jyabura's posture belied his worry. "He's using the highest form of his Life Return technique: The Sleep of the Immortal, or something like that." He stopped there, as though this explained everything.
Kalifa waited for an elaboration. When it didn't come she said, "And that is?"
He turned to scowl at her, sighed, and plopped gracefully down to sit with his legs crossed. He stroked the long black tresses of his moustache to the tip of his goatee, a sign that he was thinking; something he normally tried to avoid. Sure he was a cunning and brilliant con artist, but as soon as you asked him to deal with the real world he was lost. "From what I understand," he said slowly, "Kumadori can put himself into some sort of weird trance where even if he's fatally wounded his body won't die. If he's fine, he'll snap out of it after a couple of hours, but if not then we need to get him to a doctor, and fast."
"So we won't know for hours?" She blinked at him, thinking. Kumadori looked like he was in bad shape, and if they waited even one hour it might be too late. "Is there any way to bring him out of it now?"
Jyabura stubbornly crossed his arms. "I only know of one thing that works, but there's no way in hell I'm doing it."
Kalifa was incensed. "And why not?!?" she seethed.
He met her raging violet eyes with a flinch. He might be much stronger than her, but he also knew all to well about women and their scorn. "Be-because…"
"It's because he's afraid, chapapa," Fukurou butted in. He was sitting up and looking like nothing had ever been bothering him. "Last time-" but he stopped abruptly when Jyabura jumped on him and started to close his zipper-mouth, literally shutting him up.
While this went on Kalifa continued glowering. Jyabura noticed and stopped what he was doing. When the woman started advancing on him he jumped back to use Fukurou as a shield, looking everywhere for an out. The only thing he could think of was to run for it, but he knew nothing about this place and didn't like the idea of getting lost in Jell-O Land. "Ah! No, wait," he pleaded, "Listen, we'll just let him wake up on his own. He'll be fine, really he will! Besides, it's not like we can go anywhere until the bombardment stops right? So let's just wait okay?"
Kalifa was going to do something bad to him, he just knew it. Her face was frighteningly twisted and her hand was twitching, aching for a pair of glasses to adjust in her rage. She had a good series of tortures in mind, but was instantly distracted from them.
Kaku chose that moment to throw a violent coughing fit.
She ran over to him and dropped on her knees, taking in his way too pale skin, white eyes, and convulsive hacking. It sounded like he was trying to expel the contents of his chest cavity. She kept the outward appearance of calmness, but she just didn't know what to do! She was good at beating people to a pulp, not saving them!
She grabbed onto him, trying to still him and do… do something, but before she could even think he was ripped from her and rolled onto his side. In a single powerful cough, a large spray of blood finally burst from him, just barely missing her. He continued like that for a minute or so until the coughing got weaker and he just lay there, held in that position by Jyabura and breathing heavily while thin spit-washed red continued to trickle from his gasping lips.
Once she could feel a little relieved, Kalifa looked from Kaku to Jyabura in shock. "How did you…"
"It's the same thing you gotta do if someone passes out drunk." He had a smug look on his face, but Kalifa was less than impressed.
"Of course you would have to know stuff like that," she said.
"Hey," he barked back at her, "what's that supposed to mean?!?"
Fukurou, who was standing over the three of them through the whole episode, reopened his zipper and said, "Shouldn't you look after Kaku before arguing?" They both looked slightly ashamed, and things would have been fine had he not opened his mouth the second time. "And she means you drink too much, like when you got so wasted at that staff party that you made out with Spandam's secretary."
"What? I didn't… wait," Jyabura's face suddenly lost all expression. "Gyatharine said something similar when she broke up with me…"
"That's because I told her, chapapa!" Fukurou sounded strangely proud of this confession, but it didn't last long after Jyabura jumped on him once more and started furiously shaking him.
"I wasn't even at that party you bastard!!!"
"Yes you were. I saw you."
"Like hell! It was probably that agent who looks like me!"
"It was you, chapapa!"
Kalifa ignored them as they continued their pointless argument. There was blood on her hand; just a little bit on the tips of her fingers, but it was the dark, slick kind that comes from deep wounds. The problem was that she couldn't even see any injuries on Kaku. Save for the smatter of red now on his face, he looked like the least inured person there.
When she carefully turned him onto his back again he stirred a little, his eyes fluttering and trying to open. That was good. He could tell them where he was hurt and save them a search. Unfortunately he failed to wake up, instead sinking back into a shallow comatose state.
She sighed. Why did she have to be the one doing this? Blueno was much better than her at this type of thing, so where was he when you needed him? Or better yet, Lucci? He and Kaku were partners, so he should be the one looking after this, not her. The best bet would be Kumadori, as he had the most extensive working knowledge of the human body, but that wasn't an option right now because Jyabura was an asshole.
Damn, this was getting to her. Discounting the many new recruits Rob Lucci killed before anyone could get to know them, there was only one CP9 member to die in her time. It was a freak accident, and she wasn't even on that mission. Death just wasn't factored into the equation. They were too good for that.
So why was this happening now?
Getting Kaku's shirt open was no easy task. Turns out the black of the fabric perfectly hid the fact that it was so soaked with blood it was sticking to his body. It was also sliced in many places. How had she missed that? But no matter how bad of a state his clothes were in, it was nothing compared to his body.
"My God," Kalifa gasped. This she hadn't expected. This… this was bad.
She began to tear the bottom of her sheet into makeshift bandages. "Enough, both of you!" she snapped. "Come here and help me!"
Jyabura gave an appreciative whistle when he saw Kaku's condition. "He really got his ass handed to him, hunh?"
"Don't just stand there," Kalifa responded. Outwardly her mask never slipped, but Jyabura's eyesight was not his dominant sense, and he could smell the fear and panic coming off her.
"Relax," he told her as he crouched down to take a closer look at Kaku's injuries. "If this was gonna kill him, he'd already be dead."
"Hold him up," Kalifa ordered in her sternest business voice.
Jyabura did as he was told. It was difficult to believe that a few hours ago he had actually started thinking of 'the kid' as a rival, and now here he was helping to bind the young man's life threatening wounds. Still, he had to give Kaku some credit. He had been doing pretty well with his useless new Devil Fruit ability, and that swordsman was probably as strong as the curly-browed weirdo that Jyabura fought. He noticed Kalifa's hands shaking as she worked, and quickly looked away when he caught sight of her face.
Did the woman even notice the tears that were threatening to spill down her cheeks? Don't cry! Don't cry! Oh please don't cry! Jyabura had a hard time watching women cry. Well, emotions in general made him uncomfortable, but nothing wrenched more than stuff like this. It was Kalifa though, and her tears never made it past the mild threats.
Still, he felt the insatiable need to comfort her, even if it meant speaking up for Lucci's sidekick.
"Kalifa, you really should relax alright?" He briefly made eye contact. She was back to deadpan and he didn't know whether to be relieved by that, or frightened. "I meant what I said. I know injuries, and this one's fatal, so if Kaku's still alive it means he's willed himself that way and now he's good. It's one of those things, you know?" She didn't look convinced so he continued. "If you think he's weak enough that he'd simply die like this, than you underestimate what it means to be CP9. He's one of us, remember? One of the best."
"Why Jyabura, I'm touched."
Jyabura's face paled at that comment. That was not Kalifa's voice.
He and the woman looked down to see Kaku's eyes cracked open, staring up at them with a weak, but ironic smile on his lips. "I never realized you thought so highly of me."
Kalifa sagged visibly with relief while Fukurou did a few pirouettes, announcing loudly and happily that Kaku was alive to any entities that might be inhabiting that strange place. Jyabura's teeth were bared in a way that looked like he was trying to grin and snarl simultaneously. "I meant that you better not get killed so pathetically and embarrass this organization!"
"Ah, I see," Kaku said. His voice was wheezy and breathless, making him sound even more like an old man than usual. He lost the humor he held a moment ago, his staring eyes instead glazed with pain and blood loss. "I'll try not to let the organization down then."
Kalifa was done with the bandages so Jyabura set him back down on the ground (that was the best term for whatever it was beneath them) and stood up. Kaku just looked so defeated that Jyabura figured he should go easy on him; after all every one of them had gotten crushed by those damn pirates... except Lucci. Jyabura hated to admit it, but he couldn't see Rob Lucci losing to anyone.
"You're too late for that," he told Kaku in a more reasonable voice. Did the kid just wince? Kalifa was glaring at him again as well; he seemed to be pissing her off a lot today. That was a little harsh though, so he added, "We all are… I guess it doesn't matter anymore." Wait, that might sound like he was telling Kaku to just give up. "You can't die though, you hear? Not until I've kicked your ass!"
Kaku blinked up at him and broke into a smile again, making a soft sound that was barely a chuckle. "Well then," he said, "I'll live to be a very old man indeed."
"Shut up!" Jyabura yelled at him, "You have no right to say shit like that, just look at you! How many times did you let that swordsman hit you, hunh?"
"He only landed two blows," Kaku answered.
The others stared at him in surprise. "But Kaku, you have to have at least a dozen wounds," said Kalifa.
"Not counting where he grazed my side, there should be nine."
"How do you know the exact number?" asked Jyabura. "Were you counting or something?"
"I know," he said with some amusement, "because nine is the number of swords he was holding."
No one said anything for a moment as they all took in this strange admission. Finally Jyabura could keep his mouth shut no longer. "You've lost it. You're nuts."
"If you wish to question someone's sanity, you should take a good look at your own," Kaku retorted. He was getting visibly frustrated, but his voice was weakening. Just talking like this was draining him.
Jyabura opened his mouth to start yelling again, but Kalifa cut him off. "You keep behaving like an ignoramus," she said, "and the last thing Kaku needs right now is to get caught up in one of your squabbles. Go argue with Fukurou some more if you need to vent that badly," she met his eyes with a long, cold, piercing gaze. Around headquarters she had the nickname 'the Barbed Wire Princess,' which had nothing to do with her weapon of choice. Right now she was living up to it. "But what you should be doing is looking after Kumadori, seeing as you are his partner and you keep refusing to actually help him."
Jyabura just gritted his teeth. He wanted to yell some more, and he really wanted to deck her, but neither of those options would get him anywhere. She was right, Kaku needed to rest and Kumadori… the pink-haired moron was always going on about how he was an immortal Sennin, and years ago Jyabura thought he was nuts for it. However, nowadays that was becoming doubtful. Kumadori was like the fungus that wouldn't quit, and he would probably rebound from this in no time. Still, Jyabura figured he should check on him, seeing as he wasn't awake yet.
"What's the matter with Kumadori?" Kaku asked once the older man had gone.
Kalifa sat down next to him, making herself comfortable, and began to brief him on the situation as far as she knew it.