On the rare occasions when Smoker helped Tashigi with her training, he'd remember why it was rare.
"Control your nerves, Tashigi!" He commanded the furious swordsman, his stomach dissolving in a puff of smoke where she swinged her katana. She was otherwise a very sensible person, but when it came to losing, be it against her teacher, or her boss, or a shichibukai, she would completely lose her cool.
"Sorry, sir!", she growled, continuing her reckless assault. For a moment, it seemed like she could find enough concentration to actually use haki, but it stopped short when Smoker whacked the back of her head, circling around her in his smokey form.
Tashigi gasped, and then coughed violently.
"I think I just breathed in a part of you, Smoker-san", she said, somewhat disturbed.
Her boss sighed and resumed his original form in front of her.
"You're too easy to distract in a fight", he said irritably. "How are you ever going to beat strong opponents when all they need to do is insult you or the marines and you'll plunge at them with no plan or second thought?"
"I know", she said, sighing, if possible, even deeper than her boss. "I can use so many techniques when practicing by myself, but when something annoys me, I simply forget them all. It's just- I don't even care anymore, I just want to break everything." She scowled, sinking back to her anger again.
"Yes, I know", Smoker said wearily, scratching a tiny scar he'd gotten while trying to stop a drunken fight between his second and a marine officer who'd brought up the "exshellent work" Smoker and Tashigi had done in Alabasta. To be honest, he would've liked to let her go on a bit longer, but you couldn't anger too many allies if you wanted to rise in ranks.
"Ah", Tashigi exclaimed, noticing the gesture. "I'm really sorry."
"Yeah, yeah, just try to learn from your mistakes", the vice-admiral said and turned to leave.
"Smoker-san, could you please have just one more match with me?" Tashigi asked timidly. "I have a sort of bad reputation for breaking things, so I don't get many opponents to practice with." The things she broke included people's limbs, as they both well knew.
"You could just order someone, you know, captain Tashigi."
"I know. They just never even try to fight me for real because they're afraid of getting hurt, and I don't like forcing people to do things."
Ah, the cowards of G-5. Not like they would be good practice opponents anyway.
"One more match. Keep your cool", he agreed, and waited for her to start.
As usual, Tashigi put haki into her first attack; it was a pretty good start. Smoker dodged it and tried circling behind her, the swordsman turning with him, and the proper fight began. Compared to most of her fights, she managed to keep her composure pretty well, though her frustration was apparent, and Smoker could've broken her self-control with just a few words if he felt like it. She even managed to take some good swings at him, and when countering one of them, Smoker calculated his movements wrong and accidentally knocked the glasses off her head.
"That's unfair, Smoker-san!" Tashigi yelped.
"Unfairness is to be expected in fights, you know", Smoker pointed out, and didn't manage to stop his subordinate from stepping on her own glasses.
"Damn it!" she snarled. "I always manage to break something!"
"Sorry 'bout that. Do you have a spare pair?" He took two cigars from his coat and lit them.
"No, this was the spare pair. But don't worry, I've memorized the way to the shop and the basic map of the base so I won't get lost even if I don't see well." She picked up the broken glasses and squinted to see the amount of damage.
"Both lenses are broken, you can't use them", her boss said, just to be sure.
"Ah. Well, I should go right away. It'll take at least a day to get proper replacements, but I'll borrow ones that are near the right strenght."
"I'm coming along", Smoker said, and, observing his second's expression, added, "It'd be way too much trouble if you stumbled and twisted your ankle or something, so just shut up for once."
She did stumble, of course, and he had to grab her shoulder more than once so she wouldn't fall. Tashigi would've been alright by herself, as always, but she would've returned with a few more bruises than necessary, and stuff like that was never good when they had to be capturing pirates and protecting the somewhat normal cities' peace in the wild New World.
"Sorry for the trouble", she said when they were standing in the store, waiting for her replacement glasses.
"Who're you talking to?", Smoker said from behind her. Knowing her way didn't stop her from making mistakes when she couldn't see well. She turned back to him, bad at hiding her embarrasment, and left a confused senior citizen standing behind her.
"It's fine, as I already said. Common courtesy", he continued, earning disapproving looks from other customers by breathing out cigar smoke. "Stop apoligizing about everything."
"Sorry", she said
I'm imperfect in all aspects, whereas Smoker is perfect, seriously, show me one bad side about him. I can't write Smoker and I can't write Tashigi, but I want to write about them, so this was born. I'd love to hear critique or even bashing about this, because if I know what's wrong with it, I can improve better. Someday I'll write a story I can be satisfied with about the two of them! o/ *glorious dream*