Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece, but plot and OCs are mine.
Chapter 10: Lullaby
With a mighty roar bellowing from the pits of his throat like a battle cry, the table was flipped by the redhead's hand. The dishes smashed into sharp pieces, mountains of food streaming across the floor and the men that had sat at the table yelped in shock and they dodged out of the way before being crushed by the weight of the heavy wood. Thunk went the table when it rammed against the muddied floor and the dazed men stood there with clothing stained by grease from grilled pork and the thick broth of stew.
Then a breath of life bathed the canopy of iron chains above the galley, the links snaking from the support beams as purple currents crackled violently in the atmosphere. A hiss resonated from the metal chains as they darted from the shadows and around the neck belonging to the man that fell beneath the limelight of fury.
Killer and Chamberlain restrained Kidd, locking their arms around the redhead before he could leap over the table. Kidd snarled like a rabid beast as he tried to break free, the sole of his boot digging into the edge of the toppled table. The sparks of his magnetic powers pulsed between the three, but the combined power of the masked blonde and navigator diverted the redhead's concentration.
The chains around the poor sod's neck weakened and he crumbled to the floor when released. Then his crewmates scrambled from their seats and rushed to his side, the short man gasping for air like a fish out of water. His eyes were wide, round like saucers, and his cheeks were slowly fading from a light shade of blue to a sickly white.
"Kidd!" Killer barked, yanking on the redhead's bandolier with all his might and he rammed the weight of his shoulder against the redhead's chest to hold the beast in place. "What the fuck's wrong with you!?"
The redhead's expression was twisted from rage. His lips were curled into a savage snarl and his knotted brows twitched with the pulsating veins along his skin. "DID YOU NOT SEE?!" He roared at the top of his lungs, attempting to lunge forward again. However, with the united efforts of the navigator and masked blonde, they held him at bay.
There was strain on the navigator's features, a small bead of sweat trickling down his cheek. "…No." He grunted, his grip tightening on the redhead's arm. Mechanically, he turned his head to the scene where caution was thick in the air. The crew warily glanced between their furious captain and the short man that suffered his wrath. "Razor. Roland," the navigator tense voice called out to the pair. "What happened?"
The two had been directly behind the target when the incident occurred and were helping support the victim by wrapping the short man's arms around their respective shoulders. The fretful cabin boy looked towards the navigator, weakly shrugging his response, however, the summoner mage was able to speak hers.
"I—I have no idea…" she stuttered, an anxious crack in her voice.
The redhead growled an incoherent remark, inhaling sharply through his nose. The tension rippled through his muscles as his attempt to escape Killer's and Chamberlain's hold escalated. The masked blonde and navigator retaliated by dragging the redhead with all their strength into one of the storage rooms on the other side of the galley. The two men threw the redhead into the room that stored the artillery, and the cagy mumble of the crew turned into a faint buzz when Killer slammed the door shut.
The redhead's temper fizzled when he was forced into a controlled environment. Kidd crossed his arms over his chest and lowered his head, tucking his chin to his collar bone. With his eyes locked onto his feet, he began pacing back and forth like a feral animal in a cage, growling curses under his breath. Every exposed muscle of his body was visibly strained, his shoulder blades quivering viciously as his fingernails dug into the flesh of his biceps to leave small crimson marks.
Chamberlain carefully approached the redhead, his hands up in defense. "Okay, Kidd," the navigator's tone was calm. "Tell us what happened."
"Nothing happened." Killer interjected, aggravated with the redhead antics. "Nothing was out of the ordinary, but this fuckin' ginger jackass."
Kidd stopped in his tracks, his head snapping up and he whipped his attention from the floor to the masked blonde. His eyes narrowed darkly and he growled: "How did you not see it?"
"Because there was nothing to see!" Killer snapped, stomping his foot to the floor. "You're crazy! Cuckoo! Insane! Don't kill the crew over your imagination!"
Kidd's cheeks flushed crimson and steamed whistled from his ears. He stalked over to the masked blonde, towering over him even though their height difference was only two inches apart. The redhead's lips were pursed in a thin line and his brow twitched uncontrollably. Glowering, Kidd jabbed his finger to Killer's chest and hissed: "Fuck you, pansy," then he shoved the masked blonde out of his way, storming to the storage room's exit and he slammed the door behind him.
Killer crossed his arms and merely scoffed, turning his head from the childish sight.
"Christ…" Chamberlain sighed and ran his finger through his hair. "What is up with him?"
The image on deck resembled the cliché scene of a dog barking up a tree at a cat perched high out of reach on the top branch. Kidd's glare was locked onto the crow's nest, his lips curled into a sneer as he barked: "Scotty! You bastard, get 'ur ass down 'ere now!"
However, the scene lost its poetic charm when that dog was rather rabid and foaming at the mouth when the cat would not pay attention.
On the quarterdeck, Heat watched the scene unfold and a few beads of sweat formed along his brow. Slowly, the quartermaster turned his attention towards his companions at the helm. "Master Kidd seems a bit more…aggravated than usual," he commented with a frown. "What did Scotty do this time?"
Chamberlain shook his head with an exasperated sigh as he held firmly to the wheel of the galleon. "Apparently something happened between him and Roland on Buffaloon Ranches the day of the heist."
"Really?" Heat's eyes opened wide in shock. "It was that bad?"
"Pfft." Killer crossed his arms and scoffed, cocking his head to the side to make his long hair sway with the motion. "Hardly. She manipulated the simpleton's mind to get out of a situation. If anything, Kidd should be getting mad at Roland, not Scotty."
"Oh." Heat blinked, his gaze drifting back to the redhead that continued to bark up the mast. "Then…why's he acting this way?"
In unison, Chamberlain and Killer answered without hesitation: "Because he's a moron."
Gabriella rested her knee on one of the benches that belonged to a galley table, leaning over so she could wash the stained surface with a soapy sponge while Razor and Laddie scrubbed the floors of grease after the incident at lunch. The wood of the floors and table were riddled with pieces of porcelain from the plates and bowls, the chips wedged into all the crevasses and cracks. It took over an hour to pry as many pieces as they could possibly get before throwing in the towel.
The older cabin boy cursed profanities under his breath the entire time, irritated that he was wasting valuable training time by cleaning the galley. And his aggravation boiled over when the younger cabin boy remarked that it was their job to clean the galley. Razor's cheeks blistered red, a fight would have broken out between the bickering two if not for the summoner mage that sent them a scolding glare. She would have even went as far as to lecture the two boys, but her train of thought was interrupted when her ears twitched to the approaching sound of footsteps from behind. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw a familiar pack of five men sluggishly climb down the stairwell.
Bram, Silo, Lucien, Finley, and Eon: she had a moment of déjà vu as she watched them lethargically make their way over to her. There were miserable looks on their faces as they all rubbed the new bruises upon their necks.
"'Ello, Miss Gabriella…" Bram mumbled, greeting her with a crooked frown on his cracked lips, the stocky man attempting to send her a smile, but the mood was against him. Gently, he shook his head, the tan color slowly reappearing on his cheeks as he asked: "Can we have some booze?"
"You know Thom's rules!" Razor shouted from the background. "No booze on the job!"
Silo's lanky form appeared from behind Bram's stocky one, and he shot an annoyed scowl towards the cabin boy. "Shut up, Razor! We weren't asking you anyway!"
Lucien's brows knitted together as he gave the summoner mage a pleading look. "Please," he stressed the word. "You're probably the only one he'll break a rule for besides Captain himself."
"Fine," Gabriella sighed and leaned away from the table, leaving the sponge on the surface. "I'll ask him," and then she made her way to the kitchen.
Thom was prepping for the dinner service, the cook thoroughly inspecting the freezer to size up what he could make. Though, he paused in his search and emerged from the chilly storage room when the summoner mage entered the kitchen to relay the request. The cook was ready to decline, but when she performed the action of a noose around her neck, Thom took pity. He allowed a small exception for the men, which upset the older cabin boy when the summoner mage returned with a tray of five foamy beers.
The group of men sat down at the end of the long table and she placed the tray in front of them, the froth oozing over the side of each pint. The five men eagerly snatched up the glasses, ignoring the alcohol that clung to the skin of their hands as they quickly chugged the potent contents. Then in unison, they slammed the emptied glasses back down on the table and gasped for air.
"So…" Gabriella drew out slowly while she gingerly picked up the empty pints and replaced them back on the circular tray. "What happened?"
"Cap got angry at us…" Bram sighed and his hand subconsciously went to the dull bruises around his neck. "'Bout that thing in the galley."
"Thing?" Her brows knitted together in confusion. "The incident from this afternoon? You guys weren't anywhere near it though…"
"From when you first joined, Miss Gabriella." Lucien clarified.
"Seriously?" Her eyebrows shot to her hairline in shock. "That thing? That was a month ago. There's no reason for him to be upset over that still. Hells, I'm not even mad about it anymore."
"He's just, ah…" Bram paused, pursing his cracked lips into a thin line. "Frustrated, I think."
"Oh…" Gabriella murmured softly. "This happens often then?"
"Well," a thoughtful look crossed Silo's features as he propped his elbow up on the table and rested his chin in the palm of his hand, covering the small patch of red hair. "To be honest, I think this is the first time he's acted out in a…random way."
"It's gotten so bad that Chamberlain asked Doc to make tranquilizers just in case Captain gets so out of control that Killer can't even do anythin' to stop him." Lucien added, a worried frown on his lips. "It's…pretty terrifying. Real terrifying," and the ever silent Eon nodded wildly in agreement with his mate.
"You codn't even fathom how sadistic he cod be..." Finley sullenly said, making the silent Eon glare at him and then whack him upside the head.
Gabriella crossed her arms over her chest and she tilted her head to the side. "I wonder why he's acting up…"
"This is the first time we've had a female member of the crew." Silo brought up bluntly.
Gabriella shook her head and then she blinked in confusion. "This has to do with me?"
"You kinda seem ta be the cause of his fits—" Bram started to say, but then he cut himself off with a sharp intake of breath, his features going pale. "N—not that we're blaming you, Miss Gabriella! I—it's j—just…"
"You seem to be a factor," Silo explained for his stuttering mate. "The galley, Scotty, us…you are the common factor between the incidents."
"Did something happen between you and Captain?" Lucien curiously asked.
"Any fin is codssopible," Finley added, making the silent Eon scowled at him and then smack him upside the head.
"Hmm," Gabriella tapped her chin in thought and glanced upward, trying to pull the memories from the back of her mind. "Not that I'm aware of, or at least nothing that should have sparked him to act like a psychopath."
"Maybe you can talk with 'im." Bram suggested. "You do have that silver tongue, you could prolly calm 'im down for sure"
Gabriella bit her lip. "I'm pushing my luck using that method it. I think it will only make matters worse…"
Then the five men slammed their heads to the tabletop in unison, all the while, they groaned: "We're doomed…"
Kidd suffered from tunnel vision.
His narrow field of vision absorbed the color red, the potent shade a constant crimson glaze that covered his eyes. The walls, the floors, and the terrified expressions of those that past him; everything in sight was stained like blood. His state of mind warped his perception, his body filled with a murderous heat that he couldn't control, couldn't contain. He didn't know the origins of the dark emotion that boiled his blood save for the fact that he wanted to be violent. He wanted to remove the heat that infected his core and his twisted mind came to the conclusion that being violent was answer.
He wanted to destroy everything involving—
The darkness in his inner thoughts shattered like a wall of glass when a soft sound drifted into his hears, forcing the crimson haze over his eyes to melt away.
The crimson glaze had obscured his surroundings and he was surprised to see that he was standing before the large set of doors that lead out to the main deck. With his state of mind, he thought he was on the battlefield fighting an enemy.
Kidd stumbled backwards, rapidly blinking his eyes as he adjusted to the sudden range of colors that blinded his sense of sight. The light was bright as it filtered through the two windows, the sun's pink rays reflecting off the metal within the large hallway, swarming him like he was a bat awaken from deep slumber by a torch.
He closed his eyes and turned away with a groan, but it caused him to wince in pain. His hand instinctively went to his jaw, gingerly massaging the sore skin when he felt a sharp sting pierce his nerves; his jaw was locked for prolonged periods because of his wrath. As he tried to regain feeling his in mouth, he combed his memories for the origins of his rage induced frame of mind, but all attempts failed when he heard that gentle sound filter through his ears once more.
Perplexed, he looked around for the source, following the soft noise to the staircase that went deeper into the depths of his galleon. He leaned over the banister, his brows furrowed as he focused in on the sound. He had an idea of what it was, yet his mind betrayed him and it refused to believe it was true. Slowly, he climbed down the stairs to enter the galley, wary of the large space with a sole occupant: the summoner mage.
The summoner mage moved back and forth on her heels, following the rhythmic motion of the mop sliding across the wooden floorboards, leaving a sudsy trail in its wake. The bubbles would cling to the leather of her boots whenever she placed the mop back into the bucket to refresh it with soapy water and then slap it upon the floor again. When the redhead approached, the sound he had been following ceased and he saw her pause the mop to look over her shoulder.
She sent him a curious look as she placed her hands on top of the mop's long handle and rested her chin against her knuckles.
Kidd gave her an odd look in return, his brows knitted together as he asked: "What're you doing?"
"Um, cleaning?" She replied, unsure, but she shook off his strange question and leaned away from the handle, adjusting her grip on the mop's shaft. "If you're looking for Razor and Laddie, they're asleep," and then she went back to mopping the floors. "They're waking up even earlier than usual to train since they didn't get a chance this afternoon because of the mess at lunch." She scoffed at the memory, rolling her eyes. "Cleaning up the mess from this crew is a workout in itself. Might need to teach them some—"
"Singing." Kidd abruptly cut her off.
She froze momentarily, her body tense as her mind processed the single word he said. Then mechanically, she faced him again with wide golden eyes. "What?"
"Singing." Kidd repeated bluntly. "You were singing."
She shifted uncomfortably on her heels, her knuckles white as her hands wrung the mop's wooden shaft. "I—I was…" she responded in a soft tone as a frown pulled on the corner of her lips. "Am I…allowed to, or do you, um, not want me to do that?"
Kidd scowled at her flustered expression, the sneer making her flinch when he growled in irritation. He scoffed at her reaction, rolling his amber eyes, but then he plopped down on one of the benches. He propped his left calf on his right thigh and crossed his arms over his bare chest, ordering her to: "Sing."
The rattled look on her features broke, revealing bewilderment as she stared at him in shock when he made such a request. "W—Why?"
"Don't question me," he snapped, irritated. "Just do it."
The doors slammed into the adjacent walls when Killer burst into the office. "Where's Kidd?" The masked blonde questioned the navigator perched behind the desk. "He wasn't at dinner and I can't find him anywhere. I think that idiot did something stupid."
Chamberlain had his ankles crossed and propped up on the desk as he polished the capture gun in his hand with an orange rag. It was a weapon he rarely used, but given the redhead's recent borderline psychopathic antics, the navigator figured it was best break it out. "Had Doc make me something special," he replied and snatched up the dart on the desktop, the yellow substance swaying within the small vial as he loaded it into the tranquilizer with a click. "Let's find the fucker and put him to sleep; he needs a nap."
Then the masked blonde and navigator began their journey for the redhead, delving into the darkness of the galleon's inner workings. The night was silent save for the creaks of the floorboards underneath their feet and the soft screech of the doors that closed behind them. There were only a limited of places within the belly of Hades that the redhead could hide, but even the pair wasn't prepared to find him so soon when they climbed down the staircase to the galley.
There was a subtle rising and fall of the redhead's shoulder as he lounged on one of the benches and used the table as a place to rest his back. It was an eerie calm that made the two exchange wary looks before slowly approaching the quiet redhead, the navigator holding the capture gun at the ready.
Then they stopped at what they saw, unprepared for the second time that night.
Kidd was slumbering away peacefully with an arm wrapped around the summoner mage's shoulders and his head tilted to the side, resting upon her ginger locks. She was nestled against his form, her cheek flush against his chest and her eyes were wide from shock. Her entire face was a dark shade of red and she clutched the handle of the mop close to her bosom, her chest rising and falling quickly.
Killer stared at the scene and then looked to the navigator, but Chamberlain merely shrugged, just as confused as the masked blonde was. Killer then turned back to the ginger pair and abruptly slammed the side of his fist against the table's surface, waking the redhead instantly. "Fuckin' ginger." Killer snapped. "Go home, you're drunk."
Kidd groggily scowled at Killer, grumbling: "I'm not drunk," and he sluggishly released his hold on the summoner mage and stood up. As he walked away, he shoved his shoulder into the masked blonde's and growled: "Fucking pansy."
Killer disregarded the insult as the redhead stalked away, his gaze turning to watch the navigator give the summoner mage a curious look.
She still sat on the bench, her eyes cast to the floor and she didn't break from the trance until the navigator snapped his fingers in front of her face. She rapidly blinked, her dull golden eyes filling with sudden life and then she whipped her attention to the two men, her brows knitting together in confusion. "What?"
"Well," Killer drew out, attitude in his tone. "We could as you the same question."