The road to nowhere
A/N: WARNING! This story contains strong language and some scenes of a violent nature (but no more so then the original manga).
Glazed eyes stared unfocused on the computer screen in front of a red haired young woman. With a sigh she looked at the hand written document in front of her and started to type it up once more.
'Nami' her line manager called from across the desk, raising her head to show she was listening, she focused on the man with a polite yet unfelt smile.
'Nami!' he gushed, he looked like he was about to have a nervous breakdown any second.
'Do you know where the plan drawings are of the west wing? I can't find them anywhere and need them to show the client, for a meeting, in 15 minutes!' He looked her in the eye in clear panic, sweat glistening his greying brow.
'Yes' Nami replied, 'Dave took them with him to look at before the meeting began, do you need more copies?'
'Ah, no, that will be okay. Thank you.' He sighed out slightly unsure; still looking edgy he proceeded to walk off fiddling with the watch around his wrist.
Nami sighed again as she turned to look outside the window behind her, she was bored. Nami had been excited about getting a job for reputable architecture company Galley-La at first but she was only an administrator and the menial and repetitive work she was given lost its appeal quickly. She was a smart girl; she had a degree in geography and communications, unfortunately that didn't help much in an architecture firm. She needed a job though and this is what she got. Although she would much rather travel the world and see what it had to offer. Dreams can happen; you just needed money for them to become reality.
Of course, she also happened to sit next to the most irritating man she had ever met in her life. Paulie. Said man brought her out of her wistful thoughts by obnoxious coughing. He seemed to go out of his way to tell her daily about how inappropriate she dressed, styled or generally looked. Her skirt was always too short even if it was below the knee or she was actually wearing trousers, she was exposing her chest or her heels were too high, she'd done her hair wrong, her make up was suggestive or something else ridiculous. He once told her that painted red finger nails was, as in common knowledge, a representation of a "lady of the night" and was therefore shocked she would openly paint her nails such colour in an office where men came to work. The guy was a nut job! She was sure if she came to work in a floor length sack, hiding her entire body, he would bloody complain about it.
Still, nothing could be done about him, despite his oddities and probable fear/misunderstanding of all woman, he also happened to be the Vice President of the company. She therefore quickly summarised that he was probably loaded. There were constant rumours about him blowing money in some way or another, gambling mostly, but Nami liked to be on the good side of anyone willing to throw cash away. If some happened to come in her direction she would be more then happy to take it from their pocket. Even if it happened to be from said complete and utter weirdo sat to her left.
He wasn't all that bad looking and he could dress when he wanted to. He was average height for a guy and a medium build but he had the mid length blonde beach boy hair and the tan skin to match. He was probably going for a bad boy look, as sometimes he'd come in with flame prints on his leather jacket and wore loose jeans, sometimes even came in wearing goggles on his head. How he had the cheek to complain about how Nami dressed was beyond her, at least she wore office clothes.
Turning back to her desk, she eyed the clock on the bottom right corner of her screen. 11:52. she would take an early lunch today and escape at midday for an hour, no one would really care. Checking her e-mail inbox to kill those last 8 minutes until freedom, she went through and trashed the ones from reception without opening them. Once she read one, which asked employees not to push the revolving door too hard at the entrance as it can "spin violently, be intimidating and hurt people". She was amazed at the stupidity of the e-mail sent to everyone; then again she was no fool to know that some people had no common sense and genuinely needed to be told. However, having plenty of common sense herself she quickly learned that e-mails from reception were never really worth reading. She suspected about 90% of the office had a similar opinion.
Next she opened one from Ellen, one of the graduates in the design team, asking if she fancied a drink after work with some of the guys. Maybe, she pondered, see how she feels later. Then she opened one with no title from her sister Nojiko, from her fruit and vegetable business, The Mikan Tree, but inwardly groaned when she realised it was one of those annoying chain e-mails. Nami hated been sent these e-mails and she never forwarded them on but always read them all the same. At the top of the window was a drawing of a fantasy style dressed woman in draped cream fabrics with floor length white wings with a sparkle animation over the top of it.
"This is your Guardian Angel" it read, "She is able to grant fortune to those who spread her message". Nami rolled her eyes; she must have been sent 6 similar to this.
"You were sent this by someone who cares deeply for you and wishes you luck for the future by sending you your own Guardian Angel."
"Send this to the people you think deserve their own Guardian Angel and a great fortune will be yours".
"If sent to 10 people or more your fortune will arrive in an hour"
"If sent to 6-9 people your fortune will arrive tomorrow"
"If sent to 3-5 people your fortune will arrive in a week"
"If sent to 1-2 people your fortune will arrive in a month"
"If you do not forward this message of good will, you will experience a month of terrible bad luck."
Close. Drag. Trash.
Once disposed of the e-mail, Nami mentally tutted her sister for sending the stupid thing to her but equally smiled and was grateful for the message it contained, which reading between the lines meant, I'm thinking of you. Pushing out from her desk, she grabbed her handbag from her desk drawer and discretely hiked up her black pencil skirt a couple of inches just to irk Paulie when she walked past him.
Slipping on her grey blazer style jacket, she sauntered around her desk, making sure to get Paulie's attention and plastered on her "pleasant" smile at him whilst politely addressing him.
'I'm going on my lunch Paulie, see you soon.' She made sure to sound chirpy.
She then made her way out of the office making sure to sway her hips slightly from the 5" black Mary Jane shoes she had on. Nami was a petite, slim woman of 21 with full auburn red hair just past shoulder length and big brown expressive eyes. She knew that she was what people would call, pretty and she also knew she had all of the right curves in the right places from the many compliments she received, excluding Paulie. Glancing back at said man before she turned out of the office, she was satisfied to see that he had clearly watched her leaving and smirked at the look of scowling disgust on his face.
Turning back around, she smiled to herself; she did kind of get an ego boost every time she managed to piss the man off. Nami then decided to go to Kokoro's café, a couple of streets but only a 5-minute walk away for lunch. She ran a comfortable and friendly café and occasionally gave Nami free meals, instantly making it one of Nami's favourite places, therefore becoming a regular and always got treated to Kokoro's stories of her youth. Something Nami would never complain about. Free food and good, often amusing, stories would always cheer her up. That's just what Nami needed after her rather boring and uneventful morning.
Walking up the street to Kokoros' the white wave fabric canopy came into view, which hung over the front of the café. Hanging baskets were placed on both sides of the facia and three small white painted iron tables and chairs were placed out front already filled with business types escaping for a sandwich and coffee. Nami walked up to the entrance, which was painted in greens and whites on the outside, which gave it a sense of calm and springtime.
The inside couldn't be more different, however. It was themed like it was the inside of an old fashioned railway station with Kokoro additions. It was complete with Victorian style clock over the counter, railway signals in the corners, a kind of dado rail around the walls, designed to look like train track. Dark wood tables with matching benches or chairs consumed the left half of the cafe, large overhead lamps with huge white fabric shades hung from above. There was a small "waiting area" by the entrance, which just consisted of a line of cushioned benches for the take away customers to wait. The large wood panelled "service area" and kitchen occupied the right of the café, dark wooden finishes with brass fixtures and fittings and display cabinets of glass. A painted plywood cut out of a small girl with long blonde pigtails and a huge smile in a station masters hat holding a chalkboard told of the daily specials, Kokoro insisted on naming "her" Chimney and "she" stood by the entrance. Toward the back of the café was a small bar extended and curved around from the service area worktop. A wooden carved mermaid was attached to the wall above the bar. It wasn't really in keeping with the rest of the café and bore a strange resemblance to Kokoro herself but the café in general was eccentric enough that no one questioned it. Customers could sit, eat and drink at the bar and it was often where you found Kokoro with a glass of something or another in her hand laughing good naturedly at whomever the customer might be who happened to sit there.
The café had a cosy feel to it and was apparently designed the way it was in memory to one of Kokoro's past flings who she was quite taken with, well, probably was in love with. He was apparently a train engineer and designed some new revolutionary train track but previously to that was a ship engineer. Perhaps that's where the mermaid came in. They met at a train station in the north moorland somewhere, where Kokoro was working, as a service clerk at the time and the man in question, Tom, was there to do a survey of the area. The rest must have been history and this café is loosely designed from that station where they met. Nami had heard this particular story a few times and supposed it was kind of romantic but as far as she knew Kokoro had never married nor knew what became of this Tom fellow. He had passed away, hearing rumours from the other staff, Nami had picked up that there was an unpleasant incident involving Tom, what she wasn't sure, but it was clearly a touchy subject. The incident was also the catalyst for Kokoro's drinking and could this lady drink.
Nami made her way to the back bar of the café and sat by the counter noticing Kokoro was indeed there topping up a glass of red wine, which she then put to her lips. Nami often wondered why Kokoro got this café licensed. It mostly only sold snacks, hot or cold sandwiches, the odd salad or baked potato. The specials were the only kind of meals you may want an alcoholic accompaniment to. Nami often wondered if the bar was simply for Kokoro's consumption and the licence was simply there for the illusion that it was for the customers. Although some did come in just to drink at the bar. The Irish coffee was rather famous around the area for it's potency but delicious taste.
The café was about half full and would no doubt fill out as the lunch rush got into full swing. Nami sat on one of the bar style stools by the counter and smiled and waved over to Kokoro. There were two other guys sat to her left who seemed to be having some kind of one sided verbal argument. A blonde who was doing all the arguing and a guy with green hair who was calmly eating a sandwich while staring forward. Leaving them to it, Nami settled more in her surroundings as a deep, husky but decidedly female chugging laugh approached her direction.
'Nami my dear, how are you today?' followed by more chuckles.
Kokoro tended to sound drunk when she spoke and laughed, almost like she struggled to get the words out and pronounced properly. This, however, Nami knew was actually a speech impediment. Despite the constant beverage attached to her person, the constant pink blushed cheeks, half lidded grey eyes and lax smiling mouth, Kokoro was never actually drunk despite how much she drank. She was tall; in her early forties with long waist length overly bleached blonde hair. A slightly droopy but good-natured face and a waistline growing from one too many bottles of wine. She often wore a mock station master uniform to work, which consisted of a white shirt with dark red tie and a navy blue trouser suit. Sometimes she would wear a matching cap to complete the ensemble but today it was nowhere to be seen.
'Hi Kokoro, I'm fine thanks. Glad it's lunch time though'. Nami said with a smile on her face. More chuckles followed from Kokoro as she came to rest opposite Nami on the other side of the counter with wine glass and bottle in hand.
'Oh ho, bad day?'
'Not really, just really dull. Even provoking Paulie is loosing its charm'. Nami smirked followed by Kokoro's chuckles.
'That poor man! Having a beautiful young woman teasing him constantly. You're probably causing him an aneurysm'. Kokoro laughed, refilling her wine glass that she had just emptied.
'Perhaps', Nami contemplated, 'the man is an idiot though. Maybe his mother walked around naked in front of him while he was growing up, therefore whenever a woman should pass by showing the slightest part of flesh, be it an elbow or little toe, it conjures up disturbing images for him. It would explain a lot'. Nami emphasized the last couple of words, looking serious.
Kokoro just laughed again neither agreeing nor disagreeing, turning around she went to grab a pen and little note pad from the counter behind her.
'What would you like today Nami? We've got some mikan juice in at the moment.' Still ever the good hostess.
'Oh really?' Nami's eyebrows raised, she loved the stuff. She guessed the fruit was coming into season. She'd have to get some from her sister, making a mental note. 'I'd love a glass then and a hot steak sandwich please'.
Kokoro winked at her then made her way over to the kitchen area to place the order. Nami smiled to herself waiting for Kokoro's return and the story of the day she was sure to hear. She glanced over at the guys to her left again. The blonde was still talking away to the other guy but he looked overly smug now and looked like he was telling some elaborate tale, moving his hands in gestures to punctuate his points. The guy with the green hair was still silent and staring forward but he did look beyond annoyed at this point and looked like he was clenching his teeth together going by the tension in his jaw. Nami raised an eyebrow at this, that guy looked like he was ready to explode. Hopefully they'd just hurry up and pay then leave. She was in no mood to have to encounter more idiots this day and she wanted no trouble for Kokoro either.
Turning her back on them slightly Nami was greeted with a glass full of fresh squeezed mikan juice and Kokoro taking a stool this time opposite her and raising her glass of wine to her lips once more. Kokoro gazed across to her other customers at the bar area, chuckled again to herself, fished around under the counter pulling out an unopened bottle of dark rum then slid it down the counter towards the green haired man. This got the men's attention and for the first time they both looked across in Nami's direction. The green haired guy, who was sat closest, looked at the bottle then to Kokoro. He seemed to visibly relax, nodded his head and muttered thanks then moved to look forward once more, opening bottle and drinking it down straight.
He was probably around Nami's age she assumed from the glimpse of his face she saw and was seriously built. Not overly so, like some body builders but this guy clearly had a good physique. His clothes were questionable as the Hawaiian orange short-sleeved shirt clashed horribly with his short tousled green hair and the cream shorts accompanying it seemed just a tad too short for a guy in her opinion, they were more like hot pants. She was beginning to wonder if this guy was maybe gay only to notice that the ensemble was completed with a much worn and slightly scuffed pair of ankle high black leather combat boots and decided that no gay man would ever go out dressed this badly.
She then realised that the blonde sat next to him was beginning to eye her up in a fairly obvious way. When eyes seemed to settle on her bust line and a grin plastered his lips, Nami couldn't help but start to feel a little peeved at the clear lack of tact that this guy possessed. He was also oddly dressed, as he seemed to be in a sport shirt and knee length short combo of the same mauve red fabric with leafy swirls of gold. Was he wearing a curtain or something? Because that's what it really looked like.
Frowning slightly Nami turned more towards Kokoro so she wouldn't have to look at him; she swore she only ever attracted weirdoes. Taking her glass of juice she began taking a sip then addressed the lady opposite her.
'A whole bottle of rum Kokoro? Do you know them?'
An innocent question but Nami didn't really like perverts and if they were fairly regular customers here she'd want the times they came to avoid meeting the blonde again. After taking a huge gulp of wine, Kokoro replied.
'No, not at all. First time I've ever seen them both. I could just tell that green one needed a drink'.
Nami just nodded her head and waited for the story to come.
'Odd guys though. Not sure the green one talks. The blonde seems to have taken a shine to you though dear.'
Kokoro laughed and gestured her head to Nami to look behind her. Nami didn't really want to as she had a sinking feeling that she knew who would be stood there. She didn't want to appear rude, however as he likely would have seen Kokoro's gesture, so swivelled around on her stool.
What she was met with was a face far to close for comfort. A head of sun blonde hair, which came down to the guys jaw line, parted on his right and sweeping over his left eye. A sky blue right eye with the weirdest spiral curled eyebrow above rose as if in question. The worst was the flaring nostrils on his nose, which was just odd, then the lopsided smile that what was barely covering the stench of cigarettes and something garlicky that he had obviously eaten for lunch. Nami had to look downwards briefly taking note of the bum fluff hairs on his chin then going further down only to be met with some of the hairiest legs she had ever seen. The hairs were long, thick and curled up together in a downwards pattern ending in yet more unfitting shoes. This time black leather, shiny dress shoes with a white ankle sock. Deciding it best to look up again and to tell the guy to back off she did so but couldn't bring herself to look friendly or polite and could only show her discomfort with his close proximity with a grimace.
'Beautiful lady' the blonde addressed, whilst picking up Nami's right hand, which had been resting on her lap. She followed the movement with her eyes.
'I couldn't help but notice you watching me across the bar. What an honour it is to catch the eye of someone as beautiful as yourself'. The blonde then brought the hand to his lips and lightly kissed the back of her fingers.
'My name is Sanji, my dear. May I enquire what yours is?' Sanji quirked his only visible brow, looked Nami in the eye and finally took a step back to straighten up, a sly gin on his face but still holding Nami's hand.
Dumbfounded. That was what Nami was. Not that she hadn't been approached before by guys, this one was certainly straightforward and confident of himself. If only he knew that she was actually trying to avoid his gaze as the only thing catching her eye was his hideous outfit. Pulling herself together after a short pause as she realised that she was gaping slightly at this Sanji fellow. His character was obviously just on the eccentric side. She managed to put on a rather shy smile and looking towards her knees whilst getting her hand back. She didn't really want this guy touching her but then she also didn't want to seem rude. Acting shy usually worked and she'd see what it got her, if this guy wanted to buy her lunch that was fine.
'My name is Nami, Sanji.' She looked away from his eye, only one was visible after all, pulling out the shy act.
'It's a pleasure to meet you.' She gave her head a small nod then tucked both hands between her knees so he couldn't grab them again.
The last thing Nami expected to happen was for the guy to literally start spinning around on one foot, clasping his hands together next to his cheek and doing some weird wiggle with his hips. At the same time cooing out something incomprehensible, suspiciously sounding a bit like her name, rather loudly. But that is exactly what the guy was doing and it was really quite embarrassing because people were starting to look over. Nami was slightly at a loss at what to do.
Nami pleadingly looked across to the blondes green haired companion, mouth slightly agape and momentarily lost for words. The green haired guy seemed to have been watching the whole scene, bottle in mouth with a bored expression on his face. This obviously wasn't a new development to him.
'Excuse me, but what is he doing?' Nami asked him politely.
The green haired guyed slowly turned to face her then looked her in the eye. That's when she noticed his left eye was closed with a rather nasty scar going down it covering the entire socket. It made her insides squirm a bit at the sight of it. He lowered the bottle from his lips, raised an eyebrow then stated:
'Being a complete and utter dumb arse. What does it look like?'
Nami could only nod to the deep baritone response as if in understanding. However, the response also made the blonde stop what he was doing then square up to the green haired guy. By this point practically the whole of the cafes patrons were looking in their direction. Some with sandwiches or cups of tea paused halfway to their lips as a thick layer of tension seemed to erupt around the pair. Nami instinctively leaned away.
'What was that, you stupid marimo bastard?' Sanji said with a snarl.
The green haired guy frowned but otherwise acted as if he were the master of nonchalance by taking another swig from his bottle of rum.
'Sit your dumb arse down, shit cook. Stop making a scene.'
Sanji growled low in his throat but turned his head slightly to look into the café only to observe that he had indeed gained quite an audience. Scrunching his face in annoyance at the situation, Sanji returned to his seat grumbling about 'shitty, fucking swordsmen' under his breath. Once seated and turned towards the back wall again the green haired guy looked around the café the raised his bottle as if in toast then swivelled in his chair so he too was faced towards the back wall, signalling that the show was now over.
Murmurs and chatter started once more around the patrons and Nami could only sigh with relief. Luckily Kokoro was coming over with her order, her usual lazy smile in place as if nothing had happened. Placing the sandwich down in front of Nami, laughing lightly.
'My, my, Nami. You're as popular as ever.'
'Yes. To all of the weird and wonderful that Grand Line has to offer it would seem.'
'I'd say you were quite lucky, my dear.' Kokoro settled on a stool once more and a glass of wine instantly appeared in her right hand.
'Why do you say that?' Nami enquired.
'Well well, you always have such handsome men chasing after you.' Kokoro laughed, 'I would take advantage of them myself if I were in the same situation.'
Nami couldn't help a coy smirk appear on her face after such a statement.
'Now Kokoro, where did you get the impression that I didn't use such things to my advantage?' Then her face dropped slightly. 'But, invading my personal space, idiocy or bad personal odour I draw the line at. Sometimes it's just not worth it.'
Nami took a bite of her lunch finally, sighing in content just as someone started screaming near the entrance drawing everyone's attention to the word 'GUN!'
Nami groaned, rolling her eyes, 'you have got to be kidding me' she thought, while she to turned her attention to the café entrance.
Among the startled and clearly scared and shaken customers gathered or sat near the entrance, loomed a middle aged man in a metal plated suit, which a cape was hanging from, cropped greying hair and fluffy jaw long sideburns. Droopy bloodshot eyes staring down the cafes customers and mouth in a permanent frown. This man looked like a gorilla with a heavy top build and skinny legs, said gorilla man started to talk.
'I am hungry, so give me some food now!' he directed at a young woman, who was clearly shaking behind a counter displaying deserts. While the woman rigidly got a paper bag and scooped up whatever cake was nearest the gorilla man continued.
'Now I can not pay for this food so it'd be real good if you all could help a guy out by giving me your wallets'. He then glared at the entire café and then as if to emphasise his point took out 2 dual pistols, which were hanging from his belt loops and partially hidden by the cape to then point them outwards on either side of him towards the cafes patrons.
This created a vortex of panic throughout the café, some just stared on wide eyed frozen, whilst others started screaming and crying.
Nami looked on with rising anger; there was no way that this bastard gorilla man was getting her money. No way in hell. She started to look around her for possible ways out of this situation, meanwhile gorilla man was directing the café patrons to put their wallets in an over the shoulder record bag, which was previously also hidden behind his cape. Shit, she didn't have much time. Glancing around she noticed Kokoro gripping an empty bottle of wine, arm strained and jaw set, she was obviously contemplating whether she should throw it at the man.
Looking for a possible weapon of her own, all she could come up with were her knife and fork or her metal nail file in her handbag. This was not good. Looking around a little more frantic now as gorilla man was coming close to Mr hideous outfit and Mr hot pants to her left, anxiousness was creeping up her spine and up her throat and she started to panic. Breathing a little quicker to cope with the adrenalin pumping through her veins, gorilla man approached the blonde guy Sanji. She peered over only to notice that both of the guys were still staring forward and didn't make any move to give gorilla man any sign of recognition. She stared on wide eyed, holding her breath as the gorilla started to point one of his pistols towards Sanji's head.
'Excuse me sir' the gorilla almost purred, 'perhaps you could oblige me by handing me your wallet'. It wasn't a question more a demand.
Kokoro decided that that was a good moment to intervene. Nami looked on frantic, what was Kokoro doing? That man had guns! But she walked over to be in front of the blonde and green head, empty bottle still gripped tight.
'No' Kokoro actually demanded and looked absolutely furious; Nami had never seen her look this way.
'Excuse ME sir but I think have more then enough money and food after threatening my staff and customers so by all means, LEAVE'.
Nami couldn't believe Kokoro's guts; she wished she had that kind of confidence to want to stand up to protect others. All she could do though was sit there frozen in fear much like the majority of the other patrons in the café. The gorilla man started to laugh though. A deep menacing rumble that seemed to come from his chest he then proceeded to point his other gun to Kokoro's face. To her credit she didn't even flinch and continued to eye him with pure hatred.
'Don't you know who I am hag?' He chucked out, while giving her a death glare of his own.
'I'm quiet famous around these parts', he paused as if for dramatic effect and actually managed to turn the corners of his lips upwards into a smug smile. Everyone seemed to take in a breath in anticipation for what was going to happen next. The entire café became deathly quiet.
'Why I've quite the career behind me, five armed robberies, I guess this will make it six' he seemed to contemplate. 'Muggings I can not count, I do like to dabble in a few burglaries when I'm in the mood.' He started to chuckle again.
'I'm in all the papers, they call me Don Krieg, think of it this way, I'm about to make your dive of a café famous too.' Then he actually started to grin.
Several gasps were heard when he mentioned his name. This seemed to inflate his ego. Nami to had read about this man in the paper, despite his boasting it seemed he was wanted mostly for violent crimes, he seemed to just like to go out of his way to smash things up, whether it be a park bench, an entire store or for anyone unfortunate enough to get in his way, themselves. This was one sick man and she hoped that Kokoro wouldn't do anything else to put herself in further danger.
It wasn't Kokoro who answered him back though, she just continued to glare. It was the blonde who opened his mouth, it was that Sanji guy.
'Hey Marimo' he turned toward the green head on his right speaking aloud.
'Have you ever heard of someone called Don Krieg?' Krieg's attention returned to the blonde, the frown quickly returning on his face.
'Nope'! The green head deadpanned and took another drink, expression blank as if he couldn't care less.
Everyone was now focussed on the odd looking pair and glancing towards Krieg who was now positively scowling. He took one of the pistols away from pointing at Kokoro and now aimed a pistol at each of them.
Nami felt like her heart was in her throat and that it was beating a mile a minute, to try and calm herself down she reached for her drink to take a sip only her stiff movements made the arm jerk forwards and instead of picking the glass up she sent it flying off the counter to smack on the back wall leaving behind a gloopy orange mess sliding down the wall.
Krieg jerked his head towards her and the smirk returned on his face. He slowly made his way towards Nami, making sure he faced the other guys sat at the counter. Nami for her part froze up completely, one arm still stretch out over the counter top. Krieg aimed one of his pistols on the guys and aimed the other at Nami's temple. Many patrons in the café gasped, looking on in horror.
'Now, I came in here asking nicely for some food and a little money' Krieg started to purr out again.
'I really don't want to be killing anyone but I may have to if I don't get what I asked for.' He then chuckled.
Nami finally managed to get out of the frozen state angered by his words and that's when she noticed a wire running along the edge of the counter directly in front of her leading to a lamp, which was only half a meter to her left. Now to distract this creep to give her enough time to grab it and smash him in the face. Perhaps luck was finally on her side as Sanji abruptly stood up and turned one blue murderous eye on Krieg, the momentum sending his stool screeching to a holt a couple of meters behind him. He then casually put his hands in the front pockets of his shorts and leaned back on his heels. Despite the casual stance, he looked like a wound up coil about the let loose. A strong aura emitting of pure malice seeping from his pours as he gave a loud snort from his once more flaring nostrils.
'You are one stupid shitty arsed bastard' Sanji spoke low and gravely whilst he stared down the man still pointing a gun at him.
Everyone seemed to take in a breath and hold it, wide eyes from all directions focused on the pair standing just below the mermaid statue on the back wall. The green haired guy sighed out heavily, put his bottle down and started reaching for a long duffle bag under his feet that Nami never noticed before.
'You've got some fucking nerve to disrespect so many woman with your selfish shitty demands but pointing a stupid shitty gun at any lady I cannot forgive or allow you to live anymore, you arsebag coward.' Sanji almost spat.
Krieg for his part remained rooted to his spot, one pistol aimed at Sanji, the other still on Nami. The only sign of change was a raised eyebrow at Sanji and a growing grin taking over his face. He would occasionally glance to the green head that now had the duffle bag in his lap and unzipped it in one quick smooth motion.
'Now if you don't take your little toy away from my lady friend there in the next 10 seconds I will shove my foot so far up your arsehole, you'll be shitting Italian leather for the next fucking month.' As if to emphasise his point Sanji started to tap his right foot as if to show that it was getting impatient.
Krieg guffawed loudly to Sanji's statement and proceeded to take the safety catch off his pistols and now aimed them both at Nami. Nami had the decency to be both terrified and give Sanji the stink eye at the same time as if to say 'what the hell are you doing?', which also happened to be going through her head along with 'I'm going to die!'
'Is that so, mister . . . ?' Krieg paused for the blonde to fill in the blank.
'They call me Flame Leg Sanji; it would be unwise of you to take my threat lightly.' Sanji demanded in a haughty manor, his one visible eyebrow creasing in anger.
'Well Mister Flame Leg, I can't say I've ever heard of you and you are becoming quite the annoyance and I'm still rather hungry. That carrot cake in the display case over there is looking rather good. I think I'll get your lady friend here to go get it fo…' Krieg's confident little speech came to an abrupt stop as his prized twin pistols were nothing more then handles held in both hands. The barrels and shaft falling to the floor as if in slow motion, cut off in a clean slice.
This prompted several events to happen in a timely chain reaction. While Krieg's face and frame turned to shock, eyes bulging watching his pistols split in two whilst a sharp breeze was felt across his face and hands. Sanji leaned forward, swinging his right leg around with building momentum to fulfil his promise by planting his foot firmly just under Krieg's' coccyx. The force behind the kick managed to launch Krieg off the ground slightly, whilst he doubled over in pain in Nami's general direction. This caused Nami to screech loudly, grab the nearest thing she could use to defend herself, which happened to be her barely touched beef sandwich and rammed it along with her fist into the disgusting mans face.
Before Krieg knew it he was flat on his back with a katana pointed at his neck. Both the green and blonde men stood over him, their eyes shadowed giving off quite the menacing aura. A piece of beef slid off his cheek leaving behind a trail of gravy, his backside throbbing in pain. That was some kick; his suit was covered in concealed metal plates, which usually kept him protected from any physical damage. Momentarily dumbfounded, Krieg trailed his eyes along the length of the katana at his throat, up the tanned muscular arm and finishing on the piercing dark eyes boring holes into his own from the guy with the head of green hair.
Who were these guys? One slices his pistols like they're made of cheese while the other manages to injure him through his specially adapted suit. There was no way that Krieg was going down that easily though he mused, he'd have to pull out a few extra stops for this job and get that bitch back for throwing her fucking sandwich in his face.
'Well then, I'm quite humiliated' Krieg snarled, glaring still into those dark eyes. His words trying for nonchalance but his tone displayed barely contained anger.
'If he's Flame Leg Sanji, does that mean that you are Grass Fried Sword?' Krieg had the good grace to grin; eyebrow rose curiously and sniggered after his mocking words despite the unmoving blade tip millimetres from his throat.
The green head was not the one to speak; in fact he didn't move an inch, eyes if anything becoming more shadowed and black, his aura dangerous. It was the irritating blonde again who spoke next.
'While I do appreciate a good insult to my marimo haired companion here you should know something'. He said with a lilt to his tone while tapping his left foot this time. A grin overcame Sanji's face and seemed to take it over by a good 50%. With the shadowed eye and overly large grin he was starting to look just as sinister as his friend.
'I am the only one allowed to insult him about his retarded appearance'. With that Sanji's left heel slammed into Krieg's' stomach, effectively knocking the wind completely out of him.
The green head withdrew his katana slightly and glared at the blonde.
'Shut up! Pervert cook! You're usual verbal garbage is not needed at the moment!' the green head half shouted half growled. His eyes went back towards the man still splayed out on the floor.
'You' he addressed Krieg, 'it's about time you got the fuck out of here so we can get back to our lunch. If you want an introduction so badly, my name is Zoro, Roronoa Zoro and I'd very much like to get back to my rum, which you very fucking rudely interrupted me from'.
Sanji rolled his eyes but agreed and added a 'tut' and 'such a selfish shitty bastard' shaking his head at Krieg wheezing on the floor trying to take in more breath. This was the only sound in the entire café.
Nami had to re-evaluate the two guys she had somehow managed to get associated with. They were undoubtedly capable of taking care of themselves but were also clearly trouble. She couldn't completely disregard that they had helped get rid of the creepy guy on the floor. She was also interested to hear the name Roronoa Zoro. She had heard it somewhere before, maybe on the news but she couldn't really place it or remember the reason why. Looking over Zoro, his body language was all control but there was something sinister about it as well. Despite the dodgy wardrobe she doubted few would have the guts to snigger at this man right now.
She turned her sight to Krieg still on the floor, his breathing had calmed and he was starting to move his right arm slightly. She noticed that he was trying to get something from his trouser pocket. Glancing around she noticed everyone's attention was on the green and blonde pair. She focused back on Krieg; she just had a gut feeling he was up to something. Luckily his attention was also on the two guys who were now arguing amongst each other again. Krieg suddenly jerked his hand, temporarily revealing a red button hidden inside a pocket. Obviously oblivious to the fact that he was being watched closely, he pressed the button in completely then rested his hand by his side.
Nami started to get a bit on edge from his move, then even more so when she noticed a smug smile start to grow on his face. Then she heard it. In the still silence of the café, ignoring the duo's bickering, a low creaking sound was heard, like a door that needed oiling, only so quiet you'd never hear it, unless you were paying attention. Nami's eyes grew as she noticed that the panels on the mans jacket started to move. The metallic plates slowly fanned out upwards making Nami squeak as she was sure she caught a glimpse of more arms hidden amongst the folds.
Before anyone knew it Nami was on her feet and gave a film wallop to the backs of the blonde and greens heads with her fist.
'Will you two idiots shut the hell up already? That freaky guy has weapons in his suit.' She said pointing to Krieg on the floor turning Sanji's and Zoro's attention to him once again as they rubbed the spots where they had just been hit.
The desired effect was not as Nami intended however.
'Wow, that's one freaky suit' Sanji stated whiles leaning over Krieg to inspect it better.
Zoro meanwhile turned instead upon his female attacker with an irritated look on his face.
'Hey woman, what the hell exactly did I do to you to warrant a fist is the back of my head?'
'Why are you having a go at me when you should be dealing with the psycho on the floor?' Nami countered in exasperation looking cross.
'Oi! Shitty marimo! You do not talk to a woman like that!' Sanji joined in getting into Zoro's personal space and also ignoring Krieg on the floor. Whose jacket was starting to reveal several automatic weapons across a chest plate and hidden pockets.
'I'm terribly sorry Miss beautiful Nami; this brute here has no manners. I for one certainly appreciated your fist of love.' Sanji gushed and started wiggling again.
'Fist of love?' Zoro questioned getting even more annoyed with a clipped tone.
'And here I was with the impression that you couldn't get even more retarded then usual, you god damn idiotic curly bastard.' Zoro glared.
'What the fuck seaweed head? Don't throw such words like retarded at me when you have a lower IQ then your nearest relative. A Plant.' Sanji spat back, an inch away from Zoro now.
Nami at this point made a grunt of complete annoyance and started looking around for anything she could throw at these idiots. Her eyes landed on the lamp and the dodgy wiring that went under the bar top. An idea instantly sprung into her mind and with out any further thought she grabbed the lamp, ripping the poorly tacked wire from the bar. Smashed the dome top off on the edge of the counter, swung around and then with both hands and momentum, swung the lamp down aiming for the breast plate on the freak on the floor and smashed the light bulb and rest of the lamp into the metallic suit.
Stepping back she noticed the argument between the idiots had stopped. Looking up she was faced with both of them staring at the floor with mild shock across both of their faces. On the floor was Krieg twitching and spasming in shock as he was being electrocuted from the wiring from the lamp, which had got trapped between two of the metallic plates.
Nami heaved a sigh of relief and went to collect her bag.
'Someone should call the police and an ambulance maybe.' Nami declared glancing at the still shocking Krieg and brought her handbag to rest on her shoulder.
'Lunch is completely ruined thanks to all of you idiots'. She pointed a glare at Sanji and Zoro in particular.
Everyone just gaped at her and her nonplussed attitude. No one moved an inch until in the background the sound of sirens could be heard indicating that the police of someone similar were almost there.
'Shit!' Sanji declared. 'Hey marimo, we got to go. Now!'
Zoro didn't waste time, he went back to the counter and slid his sword back in his bag and grabbed the unfinished bottle of rum and throwing a pile of berries on the counter.
'Sorry for the mess' he directed at Kokoro.
Zoro turned and together with Sanji swiftly made their way towards the exit. All the patrons stared at them as they left. What they didn't expect was a huge protestation to come from the red haired woman who was following them.
'Oi, you can't just leave me here with that guy on the floor, you were the one's to first beat him up anyway.' Nami admonished but underneath she was panicking, she'd just basically done away with someone in her lunch hour. That isn't going to look good even if it was in self defence.
'Yeah but you were the one to finish him, you crazy bitch' Zoro yelled in her face. 'We have places to be so we can't sit around here waiting for the feds to keep us detained for hours.'
'I just saved your lives and everyone else's in this café. That man had hidden weapons on him!' Nami yelled back. 'You are not leaving me here!' She pleaded and yelled.
'Ah, beautiful flower, I would willingly stay here with you any day, any hour under normal circumstances but we really must go.' Sanji crooned.
'Then take me with you!' Nami shouted back and glared at them for good measure.
This made them stop turn and stare at her like she had grown a second head.
'What?' was all that Zoro could say, while Sanji started to do his strange spinning dance thing again cooing Nami's name. Sanji abruptly stopped and grabbed Nami's hands once more.
'I am over the moon Nami-swan that you approve of me so much. I long to be in your company longer, no, forever! But we really must part, alas!' Sanji exclaimed.
Nami getting even angrier by this completely ridiculous man very curtly asked the other; 'where are you going then in such a rush, when not two minutes ago you were ready to lounge around to finish off your damn rum?'
'We don't have time for this' Zoro declared while looking up the street, where the first of a string of police cars were about to arrive. So he grabbed Sanji by his collar and dragged him over to a rusty orange camper van parked just up the road and effectively heaving, by this point, the extremely angry and raging blonde into the passenger seat.
'Fuck you Marimo!' was the exclamation made before the door was slammed shut in Sanji's face and Zoro jogged around to driver's seat.
From there Nami could see a raging row ensue on Sanji's side only, where he had somehow managed to fight Zoro in such a confined space with those deadly legs again, mainly aiming for the green heads face. Zoro, meanwhile, was getting angry constantly trying to bat him off so he could drive away. Nami took this opportunity of their distraction to sneak into the back for their van, for she had no intention for sticking around and Kokoro knew where she worked. As silently as she could she opened the back door, it gave an awful squeak like the damn thing hadn't been oiled in about 10 years. Luck was on Nami's side though because the two idiots were so enraged at one another that it escaped their notice.
On hearing the sirens come so close they were about on top of them, Nami snapped, slammed the van door closed and then moved forward enough to slam a fist into the backs of each of their heads again yelling;
'Will you two shut up and drive! Honestly, I can't believe I am relying on such idiots for my safety'.
Sanji just stared at her startled, Zoro however, glared while rubbing his poor abused skull, which had been hit with quite the painful punch twice within the space of five minutes. He came to his senses at least, turned his eyes to the road and slammed his foot into the accelerator pedal. The van shook like this was the worst abuse it had ever received but eventually got out of the street before the first police car stopped outside Kokoro's cafe.
'I don't know what the hell you think you're doing woman' Zoro exclaimed keeping his eyes on the road.
Sanji however was still staring at her and soon started throwing various comments of affection her way, which vexed both Nami and Zoro simultaneously. The men were still so distracted by the unexpected addition of Nami then to add Sanji's constant verbal drivel on top, that it escaped all the parties notice that an unmarked car had been following them since they set off.