A/N: Ok, so, I got this idea in my head and it just would NOT let me be. That being said, I would dearly love some feedback on this, so that I can figure out whether or not to go ahead with this story, so if you find it interesting, do let me know, review or PM or whatever, please. Otherwise, its scrapped to the abyss of my computer till the end of time. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, except for my OC and a gremlin dog.
The curtains blew gently in the summer breeze, softly pink satin that fluttered with barely a sound in the stirring of air. Outside the window was nothing but a vast view of the sea, huge puffy clouds lazily floating. The room was lavishly furnished, some might say overly so, with silken yellow sheets that covered the enormous bed and wooden furniture that glistened as if made of a bright metal. Ornately framed portraits hung on rich wallpaper. Aside from the air, nothing moved in the room, a whisper of cloth against the hardwood floor, the soft pop of the fireplace, lit even in this heat, a display of the wealthy. The morning sunlight flooded the room cheerily, chasing away all shadows, save one.
It slipped across the walls as if a candle had flickered in the wind, darting past the bed with a mouse's silent scurry. Wafting through the air were soft lilac colored petals, their passing casting the shadows as they sailed through the rays of sunshine. They began to catch at a corner of the room, far from the fire place, collecting into a soft pile that grew bigger with each passing moment. Suddenly, they shifted, melding together until they become a single, solid form. A young woman, perhaps early twenties, at least that was the age she looked. Her hair was a cascade of flowing lavender ringlets, her features soft and fine. Her gaze darted around the room, orbs the color of liquid mercury, and she tilted her head, as if listening. She stepped towards one of the smaller portraits hung near the fireplace on silent, booted feet, the swish of her clothing barely audible. Gently, she lifted the painting, placing it carefully on the floor.
A safe was revealed to her smirking features as she shook her head, curls tumbling over her shoulder and into her eyes at the motion. Patiently, she tucked them back and reached up, placing her ear to the cool metal. The tumblers clicked softly as she turned the dial with but a touch. Tense moments passed and she still didn't stir, slender fingers appearing to coax the clicking noises.
Left, right, back again, a quick spin, repeat…click!
Flashing a grin, she swiftly pulled on the handle, revealing dust covered, but neat stacks of beli. She reached past them and her hands slid across the metallic interior. She felt a bump and pressed, releasing the trap harmlessly, then, stood on her tiptoes, peering inside. Discovering what she was looking for, she retrieved a thin packet of papers. Perhaps on impulse, she took one beli stack as well, shoving her haul into the slender satchel strapped to her thigh. With movements that seemed rather practiced, she closed the safe, spun the dial back to zero and replaced the painting. Nodding in satisfaction, she turned on her heel, moving towards the window when she froze.
Voices drifted to her sensitive ears from behind the closed door near the only window and a panicked look flew across her face. Quickly, she ducked behind the door as the voices drew nearer and she held her breath when the door flung open, almost ramming her right in the nose.
"I'm telling you, sir, it's strange. There hasn't been any word from the men posted at the back door and I have a bad feeling-"
"You always have bad feelings," another voice snapped, male, but a higher octave than the previous speaker. "Who could get in here, anyways? We're three stories up and the only way out is the window and the door, both of which are watched. You worry too much, Hansan."
Footsteps receded as they continued their conversation, coming further into the room. The woman closed her eyes, her brows furrowing in concentration. This was going to take some careful timing.
"With all due respect sir, I-"
"Enough! I'm tired of your constant babbling."
That must have been a dismissal as only one pair of heavy treaded steps came back towards her, the door swiftly being pulled away. The woman's body quickly burst into a silent shower of petals and then they slid under the door as it closed from the other side, careful not to bump into the black boots just in front of them.
Today, however, didn't seem like it was going to be her day. A tiny gust of wind was caused by the door's shutting, stirring the pile of petals and causing them to blow forward suddenly then jerk back. The man who had shut the door, with a heavy black mustache and dark uniform, caught the swirling motion out of the corner of his eye and whipped around, rifle out of its harness and aimed. He fired at the pile and the soft flowers scattered before flying down the hallway, solidifying as they did so and the man gaped. Recovering quickly, he fired again and she barely dodged, ducking around a corner and fleeing at a dead run, her boots thundering on the carpet. A wall came into view and she backpedaled, her feet catching in the thick rug and she lost her balance, slamming into the hard wood.
"Roger's balls," she swore, grasping at her sore shoulder.
Cursing under her breath again, she blindly spun and ran left, hoping like hell there was some place to hide or escape. Another bullet whizzed past her ear, a lilac curl falling from the mane and she glared.
Thankfully, she rounded another corner as another shot rang out and she spotted a window at the far end of the corridor. Speeding up, she charged at it, heart thumping madly in her chest as adrenaline shot into her system. Raising her arms and tucking her chin, she threw herself at the glass and it shattered with a resounding crash. The guard had been right at her heels and his jaw dropped a second time as he watched her body dissolve before his eyes in a burst of lavender, the petals floating lazily, before being swiftly caught in the wind. Gently, the spun in the air before falling to the cobbled street below and he muttered a loud curse before turning on his heel, shouting orders at the top of his lungs.
She didn't hear it, however, as she transformed again, her feet scrambling as she took off down the alley. Narrow streets wound in all directions around her, but she could hear distant shouts and new that she had to hide or lose them. She could see the blazing blue of the sea ahead as she sped up another street. The docks were right in front of her as she panted, her lungs burning with the need for oxygen. There was no time to consider much, so she darted into the crowded street and slowed, attempting to blend into the throng of people, willing her flushed cheeks to cool and her breathing to slow. She walked down the wide street as if she belonged there, weaving easily amongst the thick crowd. The ocean was to her right and a wall of buildings and market stalls were on her left. Small, even teeth worried at her lip. The man had seen her clothes and her hair and she knew it was a unique enough color that she would be spotted instantly. Moving almost entirely on auto-pilot, she strode by a stall, the vendor hawking his colorful swaths of cloth loudly.
So as not to be spotted, she blended into a gaggle of women who stood close to the fabrics a bit away from the shopkeeper. Fingerless gloves eased over the materials, as if she too, were perusing the wares. With a subtle flick of her wrist, she snatched up a length of cotton and, inching to the back of the little group, swept it around her shoulders and twisted the material around her neck, creating a temporary cloak. Silently, she retreated, her steps turning to go in the direction from whence she had just come. She could see men in the uniforms from the manor she had just vacated and she slowed her pace, acting as natural as possible. However, she could see a mustached man pulling various women towards him, peering at them carefully and she felt panic clog her throat again.
"Shit," she muttered.
Her silvery eyes darted about, looking for a means of escape. Without warning, she felt herself bump into something very hard and smelling of steel, the collision causing her make-shift hood to slip down and her lavender hair peeked out beneath the dark colored fabric. She quickly looked up and what she immediately noted was bright green hair. Then she noticed the scar running down the left eye while the right stared at her, the brow arched in an annoyed expression.
"Watch where you're going," a baritone growled at her roughly, the man's hands clasped behind his head and an idea popped into her head. She was desperate enough to take the chance.
"Sorry, my fault," she murmured, meeting his gaze for a moment with an apologetic expression before she made a move to step past him, tugging her hood down to hide her face again.
Her hand grazed his hip, the opposite one where she had spotted three katanas snugly secured by a sash and she gave a little tug, the slight weight of a small bag in her palm making her smile. She felt him stiffen and she broke out into a run, twisting her body as she sensed the hand coming in from her right to grab her.
"Hey," he yelled after her retreating back, but she didn't turn around.
Well, that would be a diversion enough. She doubted the guardsmen would suspect a thief being the real thief they were looking for. Always be the unexpected, came the words unbidden in her ears and she scowled, slipping past several groups of people. Now, to find somewhere the green-haired man wouldn't find her. He was right on her heels, however, and she needed to think of something fast, a lie or an escape, either one would be wonderful about now, as she couldn't just burst into petals in the middle of the street. As she careened down the populous dock, she saw two massive ships just ahead. She sped up and she could feel him sped up behind her. Damn, he was a lot quicker than he looked.
She feinted left, around a group of sailors, then slipped behind them, moving right, hoping it would throw him off long enough for her to disappear. Not bothering to look, she bolted between the ships, randomly selecting the slightly smaller one and ran all the way to the very back, skidding to a stop when she reached the edge of the dock. Not the best time for a swim, she wryly thought. She still had momentum, though, and used it to side-somersault onto a stack of cargo, easily scaling the hap hazardous heaping of the crates.
"Get back here, witch," she heard loudly, somewhere below and to her left, but she ignored it.
Her agile movements had her on the top of the pile in no time and she held her breath as she took a running leap, tumbling smoothly onto the deck of the ship and almost yelping in surprise to feel the slippery surface of grass under her body. Looking around quickly, she spotted the rigging leading up to what she thought might be the crow's nest, though she wasn't certain since it had a pretty decent sized building-looking structure at the top.
She started to move in that direction, but a door on the deck burst open and a kid with a straw hat and a slightly taller man with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth walked out.
"Shit," she said again as the two males spotted her. She felt a hand grab her roughly from behind, spinning her around.
She was face to face with the green-haired man again and he looked most definitely more than annoyed at the moment, his grip like iron on her arms, keeping her still. She could see other people starting to gather on the deck and she cursed her luck with every foul word she had ever heard.
"Give it back," he snarled at her, but she just stared at him like she had no idea what he was talking about. He seemed to be resisting the urge to shake her.
"Now!" he yelled and she looked up at him with wide eyes before she smirked, melting into petals in his grasp. She heard him make a startled noise as she started to slip away in the wind.
"That's so cool!" she heard from her right, thinking it sounded like it came from the kid, but she paid him no heed, bent on escape.
"No, you don't," reached her hearing just as her face disappeared and she winced as something squeezed her tightly. He had managed to catch a fistful of her before she was completely lost to the breeze.
Now she was angry. This was just not her day and she was damned tired of running. So, instead of doing the prudent thing, she solidified once more, her hands on her hips. She threw back her makeshift hood, eyes blazing as he held up a fistful of lilac tinted petals and ignored the tall blond man with the kid as he made heart eyes at her.
"Give me back," she barked at him, holding up her hand to show that he currently held the equivalent of two of her fingers.
"Give me back my beli," he retorted and she scowled fiercely.
"Fine, it's not like I really wanted it anyways," she spat, tossing him the bag which he deftly caught in his free hand.
He released the petals and they swirled towards her outstretched palm, forming her missing fingers. She crossed her arms, knowing she was well and caught at the moment, but her eyes roved constantly. She saw two women, one a voluptuous red-head, the other a willowy brunette, each regarding her with thoughtful expressions. She did a double-take when she spotted a skeleton walk casually behind the two and raised both her brows in surprise. A thickly built man was perched on the railing of the poop deck and a little furry creature was staring up at her with wide eyes. Another man with a nose so long she hadn't thought it possible was also looking at her, but it was a wary glance. The green-haired man was also regarding her with careful scrutiny. She cocked a hip, trying to appear casual.
"Well," she finally asked, the silence making her edgy.
"Well, what?" was the reply and her frown deepened.
"What do you want from me? An apology? I'm sorry. Recompense?"
"Recom-wha?" asked the kid, scratching at his head and looking towards the women with a puzzled expression.
"Paying off your debt, like I make you guys do," the redhead spoke up.
The woman ignored the exchange, her gaze fixed on the hard face of the swordsman, as he obviously was. When he still didn't say anything, she let out an irritated breath and pulled back her new cloak to reveal a snugly-fitted leather thigh. She pulled the stack of beli she had pilfered earlier and offered it with her arm out.
"Here, then, this should more than cover what I had taken," she said coolly and widened her eyes in surprise when the man looked insulted. He turned on his heel and marched to the mast, climbing the ladder without another word.
Now she really felt awkward, letting her arm drop and looking around at the people gathered on the deck. The kid suddenly hopped forward, coming so close that their noses almost touched. She jerked back, startled and her feet seemed to catch on themselves, tripping her. She landed ungracefully on her rump, wincing at the impact as a dull ache shot throbbed in her hind quarters.
"Ow," she whined, rubbing at her derriere tenderly before looking back up and seeing the kid grinning at her.
"Shishishi," he laughed, crossing his arms over a massive scar on his chest. Still grinning, he tilted his head down at her.
"What's your name?"
She didn't answer at first, completely off balance by the strange behavior of these people.
"T-Tiri," she practically squeaked out, any pretense of confidence or suaveness erased by the ache in her bottom.
The boy nodded and clapped his hands behind his head.
"Can you do that thing whenever you want?" he asked suddenly.
She shrugged, folding her legs under her, resigned to the fact that she probably wasn't going anywhere for the moment.
"Sure," was her response and he grinned wider, the scar beneath his eye crinkling.
"Can you fly like that?" he seemed very eager to hear this answer, leaning down with his hands on his knees until he was eye level with her.
"Um…sort of. It's more like floating," she said slowly, quickly adding, "But a strong wind blows up and I end up going wherever it is."
He clapped his hands, straightening suddenly.
"Awesome!" he yelled, his hands going back behind his head and he suddenly looked down at her with a big grin, but his black eyes were glinting, maybe mischief?
"Wanna be my nakama?" the question just about made her fall back in absolute shock as a chorus of voices rose up across the deck.
Why did she have to pick this weird ship to board? She asked herself with a groan.