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 West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief

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LoreleiMaiden

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PostSubject: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Mon May 19, 2014 10:56 pm

A thin, wavering silence pervaded the air in the small tavern that night.
The West Blue was rarely very busy at this time of year anyway and the island wasn’t the most well-known ports-of-call, but still…it was strange to happen upon a tavern that was so quiet and dark.

Only three bleak, yellow oil lamps served to light the entire tavern, which was empty aside from the twenty seven occupants of the table upon which the oil lamps sat.

Captain Jerome Dugard lifted his dagger and brought it sharply down, lodging it into the wood of the table as if he were trying to cut through the feverishly thick silence. There was a single streak of vermillion on the blade.
The Stormforce Pirates had only pulled into the island less than five days ago but it had only taken one throat to be slit by the Captain for the locals to learn that when the pirates wanted the tavern to themselves: they got the tavern to themselves.
And now the tavern was empty now.

No one at the other tables.
No one at the bar.
No one to bother them.
No one to interrupt.
No one sitting in the tavern aside from the Captain Dugard, his twenty five male crewmates and one single female group member.

She wasn’t so much a crewmate as a temporary worker that they had picked up at the docks on the previous island.
She had wanted to get to West Blue and they needed a decent navigator while their actual one recovered from scurvy.

Jerome Dugard took a deep gulp of mead from the tankard in front of him and surveyed the woman sitting at the other end of the table with narrow, amber eyes.

“Reiko…Reiko…Reiko, my dear red-headed little tart,” he crooned, slowly prising his knife from the wood of the table. “This is not how I thought this evening would end.”

Reiko Fujiwara, dubbed the Crimson Thief but better known to all as “Red”, rolled her eyes, leaning back in her seat and crossing her legs.

“I know how you thought this evening was going to end, Jerry,” she smirked. “Trust me when I say that we were both going to end up disappointed either way…”

Dugard tightened his grip on the hilt of his dagger, grunting and tutting slightly.

“I knew I couldn’t trust you, Red. But stealing from my private stashes…really? Weren’t we lovely to you? Weren’t we generous to let you on board our ship, allow you to join our crew and ferry you to West Blue…all expecting nothing in return?”

“Nothing in return, eh?” Red echoed, leaning forward on her hand and flicking her long hair back over her bare shoulders. “That’s debateable…and I told you already, you’ve no proof that I’ve been stealing from you…”

“Because you’ve been spending the money at every port,” the first mate, Layton seethed through gritted teeth. “Getting rid of the evidence as soon as you get it.”

Red laughed slightly. “Well hypothetically if I was stealing money from your safes, Captain, don’t you think it shows great stupidity on your part that the safe was that easy to crack and great ignorance on your part that it took you this long to figure me out? If I were you, in that case, I’d be trying to deny that this false accusation ever took place…” Red uncrossed her long, pale legs, adjusting her shorts and moving to stand up. “In fact, I’ll give you a hand with that…”

Dugard clicked his fingers. “Not so fast, Red.”
A hand was placed on both of her shoulders, shoving her back down into her seat and suddenly a knife was at her throat.

Red swallowed slightly, crossing her arms as she looked up at the men who surrounded her. “Now then, boys. Let’s not get so hasty…”

“You’re in no position to be making suggestions,” Dugard snapped, standing up and leaning over the table. “I don’t need any traitors on my crew…and guess what? Theft from the Captain is direct treason on my ship…know what the punishment is? Lads, tell Miss Fujiwara what the punishment is.”

“Death,” the crew stated in an eerie, monotone chorus.
The one that they always addressed their Captain in.

Red raised an eyebrow, quivering slightly but determined not to show an inch of fear on her face. This was not a good day for her.
If that damned cook hadn't caught her sneaking away from dinner early, she would have had no witnesses.
"My own punishment for not damn well using my powers when I could have," she internally lamented. "Then again, maybe it's better that they don't know I'm a fruit-user."
Whether she liked it or not, she was very much caught in a snare.

“But let them try to catch what they can’t see,” Red thought, prepared to activate her Clear Clear Powers as the blade neared her neck.

"Not so fast," Dugard said suddenly, a sadistic smirk crossing his features. "Maybe there is a way you can pay us all back, Reiko."

Red snorted. "I'm a player, not a prostitute."

Dugard wagged a finger. "I was thinking of a more lucrative solution. You see, according to your lovely Wanted Poster, that pretty head of yours is wanted for 1 million Beli, Dead or Alive...Alive could be fun. In many ways, alive is a lot more fun to think about."

Layton snickered, quickly getting at what his Captain was alluding too. "They'll chuck you straight into Impel Down, Red. How many arrests did you say you evaded? Thirty almost? Hah, they'll put you in a stone cell and you'll go crazy like all the others in there...I wouldn't be surprised if you started begging for death right now..."

Red gritted her teeth, waiting for the right moment to activate the Clear Clear. The grips on her shoulders were still far to heavy. She'd be invisible but also completely unable to move.

"I don't beg for anything," Red told them with careful conviction. "I've never begged anyone for anything once in my life...and I won't be starting now..."

Dugard shrugged, standing up and walking to her side of the table, gesturing as he went. "Fine then. Cuff her, boys. Miss Fujiwara will be undergoing the remainder of her journey in the brig..." He paused thoughtfully, fingering a lock of her hair and almost toyingly running his blade against it. "So they'll pay one million for the whole package? I wonder how much they'd pay for just the hair?"
He pressed the blade to the front of her scalp and Red's ice-blue eyes widened.

"Oh God, no,no,no...please distract him now...dear Poseidon...anyone...send a fire, flood, angels, demons...anything..."

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Tue May 20, 2014 1:51 am

A small ship, roughly the size of a modern day yacht, made its way to the island. The white paint in the side of the ship looked chipped and faded. The side of the ship, in Italics, showed the words "Sea Shadow"; although some of the letters in the right side were missing from the ship's name. The left side made up for it by showing the letters that the right side was missing, but it also had a few of its own letters gone from the name by either age, scratches, or just recklessness. The one maneuvering this vessel was an old man with a pipe in his mouth. He had a scar over his left eye that looked ancient, and untreated. A person could almost see the disease that came from the wound take most of the man's left orbit area. His left eye, the one affected, seemed half open as well. The muscular old man with a long white beard then spoke to the only passenger in his ship, a man wearing a fitted black suit with a black tie and white business attire underneath. His shoes looked expensive (the equivalent in style to a modern day Italian shoe). The man had his legs crossed, his left foot was over his right knee, which showed the bottom of the shoe had a black snake underneath it. The old man spoke to the traveler.

"Remember da deel, I help yuu get in the neu island, an' yuu help the village bye ridding the town of the filth, Jerome." The man's thick accent popped out almost immediately. He picked up the English language from somewhere, but his accent stayed with him.

Kaizen smirked. Judging by the man's accent Kaizen could guess that he learned english at a later age. Judging by the condition of the ship and the old man's obvious connection to the underworld Kaizen could guess that he was a smuggler of sorts. Kaizen managed to find a secret opening to the bottom of the ship. Inside was benches, drinks, and many objects that Kaizen didn't bother investigating. Most of it was likely canned food; in the off chance he had to smuggle people again. This meant that Kaizen wasn't being set up. He could trust the old man.

"How does he look like?" Kaizen asked this with his eyes seemingly closed. His smile seemed to maintain a steady length across his face and stopped mid-way between his cheeks and ears. The old man spoke with a worried expression.

"Hiz a pieret, yuu can smell him if yuu want. He hass twenty feive members in hiss crue. Don' think diz will be eazy." Kaizen smirked, reaching a smile that was now cheek to cheek long and ominous. It gave the man the 'creeps'. Once the ship landed Kaizen walked off and waved without looking back. Kaizen had his first assassination job. Now he just had to make sure this one was taken care off so the old man could tell his 'friends' in the underworld. Now he just had to find the bar/tavern. The only down side is that the old man didn't tell Kaizen how they looked like.. probably because he didn't know. Thinking back Kaizen did hear him say to help 'the villagers', not him. This meant the old man wasn't a part of the village, but probably someone who was trying to help them. Maybe the villagers asked HIM to send someone but couldn't afford an assassin for hire. Either way it meant that Kaizen had a job and he didn't know who to kill.

Kaizen walked through the town looking for obvious signs of a tavern. Because the old man didn't specify the area it meant that it was obvious. Upon walking Kaizen saw a lonely 'house' with light inside of it. Villagers around the area basically evacuated the scene for some reason. While Kaizen walked down the street he peeked inside the homes and noticed the empty space. People 'moved' out of the area. When Kaizen looked at the only, now recognized as a, tavern in the area. Kaizen leaned against the wall for a moment. It was quiet. Then he heard the sound of an object hitting a wooden surface. It may or may not have been a knife, or something small hitting a wooden table.

Kaizen turned into a snake and climbed up one of the 'wooden pillars' holding the roof of the tavern up. He made it to the top front roof, where people stand outside of the bar while being covered from the rain, to look inside from the top window. Kaizen couldn't see, or hear the people inside. Through the dusty and cracked glass Kaizen could see a red-haired woman and two men holding her down. One of the men, probably the leader, talked to her with a stern look. Kaizen opened the window and and dangled his legs from window like a chair. His skin turned pitch black and his teeth turned to fangs with his tongue slipping out every few seconds (almost instinctively). He turned into his hybrid form.

Kaizen's job was to protect the villagers. This woman is technically a client, unless she declares herself otherwise. It made sense for the pirates to attack another civilian. Kaizen heard the conversation clearly the moment he opened the window and slipped into the room. Apparently the woman was worth 1 million belli. Well.. she wasn't his problem, and she wasn't part of his contract. The old man clearly said that he had 25 'men' with the pirate. He would have mentioned a stunning woman with red hair.. he seemed like the sorts to emphasize on that at the very least.

The man, whom Kaizen decided to Label as Dugard, pressed his knife against her scalp threatening to sell her hair for belli. Kaizen smiled and let go of his standing on the roof then plummeted down on top of the captains body. His claws dug into the captain's jugular artery from the sides of his neck. Dante then took out the claws from his neck letting the pool of blood to start squirting out of the body. Kaizen's surprise didn't end there. He quickly turned into a snake to get behind the two men very quickly, only to turn back into his hybrid form and put both of his claws against the necks of the men before they could react from the shock of having their captain killed. His claws pressed firmly against their jugulars.

"Oh dear.. would any of you two happen to be doctors?" In an instant the claws dug into their necks and blood squirted in Kaizen's direction. He instinctively let their bodies drop so the blood would get on the floor instead of his shoes or coat. They're expensive.

"There's a lot of accidents going around today. Twenty five men died in a tavern that mysteriously set itself on fire, disposing any evidence that would lead to 'foul play'. Isn't that interesting? The world operates with weird coincidences." Kaizen walked towards the men, but not after pressing 'Ms. Fujiwara's' neck with his claws leaving a minor indentation on her pale skin of his claws. He wasn't going to let any of them leave the tavern. He made sure to cover the only exit in the room. If there was an exit he missed from his limited view in the ceiling he'd have to kill them before reaching it. These men seemed weak anyways, so killing them should be easy enough.

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Tue May 20, 2014 9:50 am


At one second, Red was staring up at Dugard, horrified at the thought of losing her trademark ruby hair. At the next second, the captain was sprawled across the floor, blood pouring from his neck.

Red’s heart leapt into her mouth, her skin turning cold and her mouth turning dry as she looked up at the voluntary attacker and her involuntary saviour.

The assailant, who had leapt down from the ceiling, had the body of a well-built man clad in a finely made suit. However, the attacker also had the skin…of a snake?

His skin was a deep black and laden with scales, the tiny lozenges glinting in the low yellow light. Her heart started to pound as she stared up at his sinister form, her knuckles turning milky as she gripped the edge of the table at the sight of the long, sharp fangs that were slightly hidden behind his lips.
His tongue flicked out of his mouth at an interval of every few seconds in a serpentine manner, his fingers were tipped by a set of deadly looking claws and his eyes were a captivatingly terrifying yellow.

Quick as a flash, the snake-man was behind her and after making short work of the two men holding her in the same manner as he had, Dugard.
Red let out an involuntary scream, jumping to her feet and backing away from the man after feeling the sting of his claws against the back of her neck. Thankfully, he didn’t slit her jugular too.

Breathing heavily, Red locked her eyes with the snake-creature’s ones.
Ice-blue meeting glowing yellow.

She instantly remembered stories from her childhood of the naga…snake demons who lived in the forest…
Well, she had asked for any distraction, hadn’t she?
Her back collided with a flat wooden surface and Red realised that she had backed against the wall.

None of the remaining Stormforce Pirates attempted to stop her; they were all already shouting and cursing, drawing their sabres and preparing for a fight.

“FUCKING GET HIM!” Layton barked, pointing his blade at the snake-man and ordering the attack.

Some men charged towards him instantly, brandishing their blades. Most were still in shock, looking frightened and reviled and paralysed with fear.

Red could tell even before the stranger drew his claws that they were all going to go down easily. Dugard’s crew weren’t experienced fighters and besides, she had just seen that man transform into a serpent and back into this striking hybrid form before her very eyes.
This man…snake…being had some kind of magic at his disposal and Red knew she couldn’t hope to defeat that.

As a fight broke out between the men, Red moved towards the storage room door. She wanted to leave as quickly as possible but she couldn’t go anywhere without her whip and satchel- both of which Jerome Dugard had pulled from her person and tossed into the storage room before their little “crew meeting” had begun.

As Red lifted the latch and crept into the small room, she thought back on what the attacker had said. He had mentioned killing “25 men” and burning the evidence. He hadn’t said anything about a woman…so maybe whatever bone he had to pick was with Dugard’s crew and his crew alone? He hadn't killed her when he had the chance either...

Either way, this place was going up in flames soon and Red didn’t want to be there when the fire started.
Picking up her satchel to shrug on to her shoulder and attaching her Kurenai Whip to her belt, she silently slipped from the store room once more.

The men were now attacking the snake-man who had quite accidentally saved her and he was certainly barricading the exit.

Red swore under her breath and ducked down behind a table in the corner of the room, watching from a distance.

There was no way she was getting involved in this if she didn’t have to and she didn’t have enough control over her Suke Suke powers yet to ascertain that she’d escape the bar without being seen.

Layton, the first mate, leapt on to a nearby table and swung his sabre downwards across the Kaizen’s chest. Red watched on with baited breath: she was silently cheering for the human snake. Demon or not, she was delighted to see those sleazy, sloppy Stormforce pirates get slashed to shreds.

Plus the stranger had a witty sense of humour, which she could admire.
And...there was something...oddly...attractive...about him?
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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Tue May 20, 2014 12:16 pm

Without missing a cue the enemy attacked Kaizen. Most of them were still in shock after losing their captain, but every pirate crew has a second in command somewhere in case the captain is killed or MIA. The woman that Kaizen decided to toy with walked backwards to an area Kaizen couldn't focus on. It wasn't smart to focus on someone else with twenty-three men looking to kill you.

The man that Kaizen assumed was the first mate showed himself and pointed at Kaizen with his sword, he told his crew to 'fucking get him'.

Kaizen saw roughly twelve figures coming at him and watched, with the corner of his eye, the red-head put herself in the corner of the room. This meant that Kaizen didn't have to worry about casualties this time.  

Out of the twelve men three reached Kaizen first. They drew their blades and attempted to cut him on his torso and de-limb his legs and arms. In an instant Kaizen turned his body into a coiled snake and their strikes missed him entirely. His shape-shifting speed was much faster then their own speed. Kaizen turned back to his hybrid form and stabbed one man in a very unique artery close to the accetabulum that is known as an 'endangerment' spot. His claws dug into the Ishial/pubic area of the body. Before the pirate could react Kaizen was already on his next victim; with this man he sliced under his armpit causing another pool of blood to leak and his arm to go limp. The final opponent Kaizen stabbed with all five of his claws. This all happened in what would appear to be in instant. Kaizen's speed in hybrid form allowed him to run at 35 miles per hour.

Kaizen took a pill from his pocket and crunched down on it. The pill was small, the size and shape of the average tablet, and made a crunching sound very similar to peanuts when bitten down. The five men running at Kaizen didn't expect his body to turn into a more muscular form in an instant. His body became more 'well cut' which added, somewhat, to his overall weight. A tail with cosmetic spikes, similar to a lizard's, grew from his lower back and his claws increased to about seven inches (roughly 17.5 centimeters).

"Warrior Point"

The six men running towards Kaizen were already about to swing their swords and de-limb/head the lone assassin. He instinctively did a bit of a limbo-like technique to dodge their horizontal swings and flipped himself backwards, while continuing the motion, to dodge one of their vertical swings. Kaizen then used his tail to trip two of the men and run forward at the four men that attacked and left themselves open.

Kaizen quickly stabbed one of them in the hip, dislocating it while at the same time causing bleeding from that area, and did the same to two of the other men. Kaizen then used his claws to puncture the last man's neck and force him on the ground with that same hand.

Kaizen back-flipped to the two men behind him and stabbed them both with his claws in the neck area. Some blood had found itself around Kaizen's face by this point, and some on his white shirt, but rarely any of it managed to get on his shoes or his expensive coat. It was a good start.

The three men that had their hips dislocated tried to squirm towards Kaizen while four other men ran around them with swords already at their hands. Kaizen maneuverably moved his body side to side at their vertical and horizontal slashes. Kaizen ran forward when he saw an opening between the four men and stabbed their necks with his very long claws putting each of them on the floor almost instantly.The blood that squirted out of their bodies hit each other instead of Kaizen (since he made sure to attack them low and as quickly as he can to avoid the back-lash).

The opponents dropped to the ground and Kaizen used his tail to grab one of the injured men by the neck and suffocate him while his two other hands pierced the other two's throats and forced them on the ground. While the injured pirate continued to 'beat' on the tail choking him, with Kaizen's foot on his blade to prevent him from picking it up, the rest of the men got a hold of themselves and attacked Kaizen simultaneously. The nine men left ran forward, along with the pirate from earlier that ordered his crew to kill Kaizen (he assumes that pirate is the first mate).

Suddenly Kaizen's body changed again, leaving this time a very long tail around his neck with the torso in a humanoid form. Kaizen's bottom half was like that of a snake while his upper half, still black in color, had the normal muscular form he had before the transformation. This time he had cosmetic spikes replacing his eyebrows and his back. Kaizen very quickly closed the distance between him and the opponents. They didn't expect that from the new form Kaizen took after the other slower form.

"Hunter Point"

Suddenly his claws, now being much quicker then in his hybrid form, pierced two of the pirates without them having a chance to counter and penetrated their necks with his seven inch claws. He cut two other people under their hip area and hurried through at his top speed while blood spewed to the ground. Kaizen felt confident with the five remaining men, and in the spur of the moment stabbed one of them on the abdomen and used his speed to force the pirate on a nearby wall. The man instinctively grabbed Kaizen's hand which left the assassin immobile for a split second. And that was more then enough. Kaizen heard the footsteps of someone behind him, with his Hunter Point's perception increase, and suddenly felt a sword slash through his back and another stab his left leg. Blood trickled down to the floor from these wounds. Luckily for Kaizen the wound was on his 'tail', which meant one of his legs will get the damage instead of both like in this form.

Suddenly Kaizen lost his focus, from the pain, and turned back to a human form. The opponents were awestruck for a moment when they saw that Kaizen was actually a light-green eyed human with black hair and a pale complexion. One of the men took Kaizen and slammed him on the table then stabbed him on his side with a knife several times (about four). Kaizen quickly took a hold of a knife around the man's waist and stabbed him in the neck. Kaizen realized that the man he just stabbed was the first mate. Kaizen quickly took the man's two pistols and fired at two of the men. When the remaining two ran at Kaizen he used his finger to dislocate one of their arms and used his palm to hit the other in the chest area; this left him out of breath and gasping for air for a moment. Kaizen rose his leg up and hit that same man two time in the face, with his kick, and had him pass out. The other man with the dislocated shoulder was taken care off by a nearby sword that Kaizen picked up; the pirate's sword.

Kaizen took a final weapon from the ground and pressed his foot firmly against the throat of the last survivor. The pirate that Kaizen didn't kill earlier and left him gasping for air. Kaizen stabbed the man's abdomen with the cutlass he found and left him there to bleed out like the rest of his friends. Kaizen was relieved that nobody survived him turning into his human form. It wasn't until his adrenaline rush faded and his body started to feel severe pain from his wounds that he realized that there WAS one survivor.

"Ms. Fujiwara, correct? I'm sorry about this, but you've seen too-" Kaizen stopped for a moment and looked at his injuries. He was probably going to die if he didn't get basic medical treatment that he couldn't do to himself. Because the men weren't great at fighting their stabs weren't deep, and their slashes were less severe then they could have been. However, at his current stage he couldn't even fight a NORMAL man without difficulty.

".. I'd like to hire your services. If you can treat me until I recover back to my normal state I'd like to reward you with belli. It's the least I can do after putting you through such a horror." Kaizen tried to hide his real plan. After he's healed he'll have to kill the only person in the world that knew about his devil fruit powers aside from a 'crazy' doctor.

If only she weren't easy on the eyes then Kaizen would have found killing her a little less troublesome.

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Tue May 20, 2014 3:58 pm

Red watched the macabre sequence of violence unfold before her, trapped in a trance of both horror and morbid curiosity. 
The strange attacker dissolved and disrupted the crew's assault, hacking them back as though they were mere foliage on a forest path and flinging them around as though they were ragdolls. 

Red wasn't unused to violence or excessive bloodshed- especially after her term with the Black Brothels- and she had to admit, watching a vicious battle rather than being part of one was a nice change. 
However, she kept her distance the entire time. 

The snake-man changed forms before her very eyes, setting her pulse pounding in her throat and forcing a shocked gasp from her. 
She didn't know whether to be amazed or frightened. 
However, it wasn't until she heard him mutter the phrases "Warrior Point" and "Hunter Point" that she realised what (or rather whom) she was watching. 

He wasn't a demon. 
He was a fruit user, just like her. 
Specifically, he was a Zoan fruit user. 

Red's curiosity piqued at this: she had never met a Zoan user before, throughout her travels. 
Her theory about the attacker was confirmed after Layton finally fell dead upon the floor. 

The snake-beast's body began to twist and change until a human man stood before her. 
She surveyed him as he slowly turned to observe her. 
He was slender, only a little taller than her and in around her age. His skin was like porcelain or newly fallen snow- an almost unearthly pale- serving as a stark contrast to the deep black hair that fell around his face. 
His half-closed eyes were almost cat-like, she noted, and had now turned a light green colour. 

She swallowed slightly, standing up slowly and moving her hand to the handle of her whip as he addressed her. His eerie tone had begun quite ominous but then he asked her to give him medical treatment. 
Red considered the offer. She was no fool: this man was dangerous. 
Then again, a monetary reward sounded good and even if she wasn't exactly broke, she still needed to get off the island. 

Especially, now that her current mode transport had been...eliminated. 

There was also the fact that this man had- however involuntarily- just saved her life, (or at least her hair). 

Red silently cursed herself for having a sense of justice and sighed as she straightened up, dusting off her shorts and brushing her hair back with one hand. 

"That depends," she told him coolly, striding past him and over to Dugard's body. She still felt slightly uneasy but was determined not to show it. "Firstly, how much do you plan on paying me for my services...?" Red stooped over Dugard's mutilated body, not really minding the blood and instantly rifling through his pockets. "...secondly, how long do you need me for?" She pulled a small bag of Beli from the dead Captain's trousers and tucked it into her own pocket. "Thirdly, do you have a ship?" 

Red stood up so that she was standing face to face with the mysterious attacker, looking up at him. 
"And lastly, forget the Ms Fujiwara crap. My name's Reiko. But for obvious reasons, most people know me as Red..." 

She studied his face, feeling as though her were studying her too. 
He's handsome, she had to note. That was always a plus. 

"And who might you be, Snake-san?" She looked him up and down, taking note of his slim but well-dressed and rather well-cut physique, smirking a little. "I'd answer quickly. You need someone to patch you up pretty soon or you'll be needing to shed your skin..."
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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Tue May 20, 2014 6:35 pm

Kaizen smirked when he saw her walking through him and towards the dead captain's body. She was fiddling with his pockets, probably trying to find money, and asked him prior to reaching the body how much her services would cost. Then and there Kaizen knew the type of person she was; greedy. Although it probably wasn't a well summarized word she definitely had that characteristic. Kaizen had to play this game in her terms.

"I have 10,000 belli I can give you when your treatment is over. Normally I'd give someone 5,000 belli, but your face won me over to a fairer price." Kaizen smirked and closed his eyes. His usual fake-calm smile seemed more believable with his eyes closed. He intentionally 'hit' on her to get on her softer side, since she seemed dangerous just by the way she walked up to the dead bodies and picked their pockets without fear.

Kaizen tried to examine her closely. She had a very distinct shade of blue in her eyes that Kaizen couldn't figure out and red hair that made itself the first notable thing on her body (besides what other men would call 'bust'). Kaizen tried to picture her face on a wanted poster of some kind, judging by what the men said, but found nothing in his memory. The fact that she even had a bounty meant she was dangerous.

Kaizen answered her second question. "Well.. I'm not a doctor, but I'd say anywhere from a a few days to a month for me to be back to my normal performance." Kaizen tried not to answer with a straight number. There was no way he'd stay hurt for a month but it was best to give her a long date then a small one. Ten-thousand belli was still a good sum for a month. In the off chance she decided to reject his proposal, when he desperately needed her, he continued talking about the first issue, "I could increase the price to fifty-thousand if I finish in my top performance.." Kaizen paused towards the end when he felt the pain settling in. He tried not to display it but his face created sweat drops that didn't fit with his calm facial expression and smile.

"I don't have a ship.. but.. I can get one.." Kaizen was having a hard time staying awake from the pain and the blood that slowly trickled from his body. He tried to apply pressure to all of them but it seemed almost futile.

Before Kaizen knew it he was already on his palms on the ground and on his knees. He was trying to stay up but his body wasn't letting him. The adrenaline was definitely wearing out and he was suffering in the middle of this fact. Kaizen could turn into his bigger form, but she'll have to put bandages on him. The worst thing he can do is put bandages on him that are too big when he goes into his human form. It was best to make the job easier for her.

His body started to shake in small amounts but he made sure to keep the same calm and happy expression. He sat up straight and continued to talk to her, he laid against the table behind him, "My name is.." He stopped for a moment in the middle of his sentence. If he told her his real name it would mean letting someone who's alive and capable of telling other people walk around the world for a few weeks. It could be disastrous. But if he told her his fake name, with his current condition, and she saw through it he could run the risk of being left for dead under suspicion of things that a scared person would make up at that moment. There was only one safe way to answer this, and since she was going to die anyways it didn't make a difference in the long run. He only hoped she wouldn't tell anyone.

".. Kaizen.." Kaizen stumbled to stand up after he answered. He felt like he was going to die. He didn't know if it was something he preferred at that point, but death seemed like a better alternative. But his goal continued to drive him to staying awake. Death would mean less pain, but it would also mean that he never accomplished his goal.

"Please.. Reiko.. Red.. help me.."

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Tue May 20, 2014 10:08 pm

Red licked her lips to moisten them- a habit of hers when she was thinking. The waxy taste of the glossy lipstick briefly glazed her tongue before settling. 

She quickly paid mind to two features of the conversation.

One, he was flirting with her. As far as Red was concerned, this meant the game was on. 
Flirtation and seduction were weapons in Red's arsenal and as far as she was concerned, romance was merely a game. A battle to be won. 
And like any good game or any decent fight, things wouldn't go anywhere with a partner who was unwilling to play. 
This man seemed certainly ready to play. 
How far would their game go? That depended on where things went from there. 
As much as Red enjoyed her escapades in the boudoir, she couldn't shake a feeling of distrust she had for the man...she had been with dangerous, aggressive men before...but something about this one felt more...sinister...

And then there was the whole snake thing...which in truth still frightened her quite a bit... 

Secondly, he was offering her 10,000 Beli for a single month with a significant rise in pay if he came out of it in good condition. 
He was definitely speaking her language now. 

She folded her arms, considering the offer. True, she had no reason to trust him but then again, she had no specific reasons not to trust him either... 

The situation seemed to benefit them both nicely, as a matter of fact.

The man's facial muscles were twitching as he told her his name. 
"Kaizen," Red repeated , rolling it around her mouth and racking her brains for any information on him. 
She couldn't recall ever meeting him before nor could she associate that name to any major criminal, pirate crew or WG personnel. 

Kaizen succumbed to his wounds shortly after the hushed introduction, stumbling forward and breathily begging her to help him. 
Satisfied that the situation was under her control, the Crimson Thief moved to his side. 

She guided him to lift one arm over her shoulders. She could already tell that beneath the confines of his suit, he may have been thin but he had a body honed by years of training. 
That was good. That meant they had a little more time than usual before he started fainting. 

"Alright then, Kaizen," she told him, softening her voice slightly. "I'll take you up on that offer. You've got my services as a private nurse for a month at an agreed price of 10,000 Beli. 50,000 if you're at your best." She winked. "Which you will be when I'm through with you." 

She laughed slightly despite the seriousness of the situation but she knew he'd bleed less if he was under less anxiety. 
"Right, lean on me for a moment." 

As a human walking stick, she helped him limp over to a nearby chair before heading over to the store closet and coming back with a few rolls of white cloth bandages. 
"This isn't a permanent solution," she told him. "But those gashes will need pressure on them if you're going to move around without bleeding when we're taking our leave from here..." 

Starting with his legs, she carefully bandaged his wounds, wrapping the cloth in neat coils around the outside of his pants. During her time with the Sirens, she had learned some practical first aid from the doctor, Delphi. 

Keeping the pressure tight on each wound to stop the bleeding, she slowly moved up to his torso, groaning a little when she couldn't properly bandage the wounds that afflicted  his ribcage.  
"Right, I'm sorry if you're shy but I have to do this," Red warned, starting to loosen his tie. 

She unbuttoned his torn shirt and reached underneath, letting her fingers guide her work as she attended to the cuts. 
They weren't deep but they were plentiful. 
His skin, on occasion, made contact with her fingertips. 

It felt almost unearthly cool to touch and smooth yet firm despite having been laden with scales only minutes before. 

Not allowing herself to be distracted, however, she finished the bandaging and buttoned up his shirt once more. 

Straddling his lap, she undid his tie with care and started to knot it neatly, the way her mother had taught her to do with her brother's and father's. 

"So where is this ship you can get, Kaizen?" Red asked him as she worked, finally standing up once more and easing him to lean on her once again. "Is it far from here?" 

She helped him walk over to the exit, only pausing slightly to knock over one of the oil lamps on the table. It instantly set the table cloth alight. 
"You said you were going to burn the evidence," Red stated, as they left through the front door. "When that flame hits the alcohol behind the bar, your evidence will be chargrilled..."  

The night air outside was almost bitingly cold- Red's blouse, corset and shorts were doing nothing for her at those temperatures other than flaunting her assets...which wasn't a warm occupation by any means 
That said, the village was quiet, the forest path was clear and the moonlight illuminated the route down to the docks. 

"So where is this ship?" she asked, feeling Kaizen's raven hair brush against her face and shuddering slightly. "I'd offer to take you to Dugard's ship but we'd never be able to commandeer it with just two people, injured or not..." 
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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Wed May 21, 2014 4:02 pm

Kaizen felt Red's warm body hold him from under his left arm. Kaizen felt her try to help lift him up. Kaizen tried to help as well, which helped because he didn't feel much strength in her pull. Kaizen had to help somehow, he needed a form that would help make Red's job an easier one.

Kaizen's body suddenly turned into one with a tail. The 'hunter point' will come useful because it kept Kaizen's body habitus. His long black tail with cosmetic spikes wrapped around Red's waist for support. With this he can put his tail around the body's center of gravity; he'll help her keep her back straight and move forward. While doing this his body's skin turned to scaly and his body colder. His fangs showed themselves slightly on his lips and his tongue instinctively left his lips every so often by nature. How else would he smell?

She agreed to his terms, which meant that he had bought himself a nurse to help him survive the night. Kaizen smirked, his plan was going perfectly. He just had to make sure he survived with her.

She started to put bandages around his gashes. He turned back to human form to make this more comfortable, since it was hard to sit with a lizard's tail. At first she put them over his suit, but she eventually took off his shirt, after hoping that Kaizen wasn't shy (probably to tease) and put bandages around his cuts. She stated that he needed pressure to stop the bleeding, which was correct, but she took it to another level by adding pressure that would cover the wound completely. It was good that she used bandages.

Kaizen felt the bleeding almost completely halt. Now he could walk around; he just had to be careful to not open the wounds she already covered. Kaizen commented on her earlier words, "My Red, if I were shy, would I be smiling when a beauty is tending to my wounds?" Kaizen's smile seemed to go be normal but his eyes were closed. He had the classic 'good guy' face most people put up. He said this while she was buttoning up his shirt.

Kaizen leaned against her when they stood up. She asked where the ship was, and Kaizen responded. "When I said I could get a ship I meant I could ask for a favor. However, since I already did that person a favor I doubt it will be free. We'll have to crash somewhere else.. maybe a cave, or apartment, for a month. Trust me when I tell you the ship I use to give me a ride will cost a lot more then any normal establishment."

The underworld was very hard to track, even by the government, because they work underground. Kaizen noticed that the man driving him took many detours through the water to make sure marines didn't catch them. Normally a trip like that would cost a lot of belli. The last thing he wanted was to use too much money. A normal inn or apartment would work just fine.

"I'll pay for the inn if you want to go inside. I wouldn't recommend docking with the enemy ship; once people find out the pirates are gone they'll probably go inside their ship to grab whatever they can.. or worse, the marines show themselves to grab everything in sight."

Kaizen wondered about what Red would choose. He hoped it was a cave though, since it's an area where people don't usually show themselves.

Sorry:
 

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Wed May 21, 2014 7:12 pm

Oh yes, the game of flirtation was definitely already in play.

Not only did Kaizen state that he wasn’t shy to have her touch his body…he also felt the need to call her beautiful.
This was something that she was used to, admittedly, but there was something about the way that her “patient” said it that sent shivers washing over her.

There was something about his tone- about his gaze- that was almost predatory.
As they left the tavern, Red felt her heart-rate quicken at the memory of his cold tail wrapped around her bare midriff, the spikes locked to her side.

“He’s just a fruit user,”she tried to tell herself. “He’s not an actual snake demon…and besides, he can’t hurt you…he needs you…stop worrying, you stupid girl…”

Still, no matter how much Red mentally scolded herself, she couldn’t shake this sudden feeling of anxiety that stirred in her stomach.  Whether she wanted to acknowledge it or not, Kaizen evoked a kind of primal fear in her.  

And though she couldn’t quite explain why yet, Red was prepared to let her nerves ensure that she didn’t let her guard down around the man whom she was currently taking care of.

Red frowned when Kaizen told her that the ship was apparently only a half-plan and an unlikely one at that.

That effectively axed her plan of sponging off her patient for escape from the island. Still, the pay that was getting coupled with the month she’d have to spend on the island meant that she’d still quite possibly have all the time and resources she’d need to procure a ride off the island.

Red frowned even further, however, at the suggestion that they stay in a cave for a month.  
There was absolutely no way she was roughing it when there were obviously better options available to them both.

“Ok, I’ll tell you what,” Red told him, guiding him to walk with her down towards the wider village.  “Forget your damn cave idea, Kaizen. Caves are for two things- random, hot hook-ups and bats. We’ll go to the local inn…and you can forget about paying for anything just yet…”

She wagged a finger at him, pulling him to a halt and buttoning his shirt up to cover most of his chest wounds and the tears in the fabric. “One thing I’ve learned from life on the seas is to never pay for something that you can get for free.”  

She raked her fingers through his hair, brushing it away from his face before carefully attending to her own long, crimson locks. “Just follow my lead and don’t say a word…”

Red took Kaizen’s left wrist and wrapped his arm around her shoulders, suddenly breaking into a string of fake giggles as she walked with him into the inn. As soon as they were in eyeshot of the front-desk receptionist, Red immediately started playing with Kaizen’s tie and gazing up at him with a look of carefully practiced affection.

“And then what did he say, sweetie?” she cooed as they approached the desk.

“Can I help you, sir and madam?” the receptionist asked politely, putting aside his books and turning his attention to them.
R
ed continued to giggle like an excited schoolgirl, twirling under Kaizen’s arm and hopping up to sit on the counter.  “Hi there!” She dangled her legs playfully, obviously pretending to be under the influence of alcohol. “I know it’s short notice but my husband here and I were hoping to grab a room here…”

“Oh! Are you both on your honeymoon?” the receptionist inquired, smiling fondly at Red’s act.
“Yep!” she declared, reaching forward to stroke Kaizen’s cheek. “Newly married. Just got out of the wedding party on the next island over…”  
“Ah, interesting. Well, you’re in luck. We don’t have many guests so you’ll be well attended to. We’re usually not busy at this time of year and we’re especially not busy right now.” The receptionist sighed a little. “Pirates, you know? A group just blew into town this week but they’re rumoured to be leaving soon.”

Red pretended to look shocked, clinging to Kaizen’s arm. “Oh! How dreadful to have those sea-faring brutes docking here. Hopefully the rumours are true.” She looked up at her “husband” with doe-eyes. “You’ll protect me no matter what though, won’t you, sweetie?”
She rounded on the receptionist once again. “My honey here has had a little bit to drink…the party was quite rough…a bit of drama here and there…” She looked up at the receptionist from under her eyelashes, leaning on the counter slightly. “It’d be really great if we could get that room as soon as possible.”

“Well, as it’s your wedding night,” the receptionist told them with a wide smile. “The inn would be happy to offer you the Honeymoon Suite.”
“That sounds fantastic!” Red beamed, opening her satchel. “How much would that be to book out for the month? This island seems like a lovely place to come back to after some travelling and this inn is gorgeous!”
The receptionist held up a hand. “Please madam. There’s no need to discuss financial matters now.” He winked. “We can take care of all of that at the end of your stay…”  He handed the key of the suite to her. “All you two should worry about for now is enjoying your time here.”

Red took the key, returning the wink. “We most certainly will. Thank you, sir!” She took Kaizen by the arm and started to lead him out of the lobby, towards the stairs.

“I’ll have the kitchen send up some champagne, compliments of the inn!” the receptionist called after them.

Red paused for a moment, swinging around and shouting back. “That’d be great. Could you also send up some rum…and a sewing kit? I’ve got some fixing I need to do on my sweetie’s suit…”

“Of course, madam!”

Satisfied with her performance, Red continued to guide Kaizen up the stairs.
After a few minutes of searching, they located the Honeymoon Suite and Red had to admit, the room was beautiful.

It was almost the size of an apartment, carpeted in rich ruby shades and draped from wall to wall in décor of creamy white, silver and gold.
The crowning point of the room aside from the fine mahogany furniture and the breath-taking marble fireplace was the huge circular bed, covered with red and black silken sheets.

“Yes,” Red declared. “This will do nicely.”
Shrugging her satchel on to the floor and taking her whip from her belt, she guided Kaizen to lay down on the bed.

“Right, get comfy for a moment,” she ordered. “This is going to be a while.”
As soon as the bell-boy brought up the champagne, rum and sewing utensils, Red sat beside him on the bed. She poured him out a full glass of champagne and handed it to him. “Here. You’ll need a little of this.”

She took a needle from the sewing box and a spool of black thread. After threading it deftly through the eye, Red took a matchbox from her pocket and started to sterilise the needle using a flame.  
“Whatever about being shy,” she commented, putting the needle down on a handkerchief and starting to unbutton Kaizen’s jacket once more. “I hope you have a high-tolerance for pain…”

The nurse removed her patient’s jacket with care, moving to carefully unbutton his shirt. Her fingers skimmed his bare chest for the second time and Red couldn’t help but notice as she unveiled inch after inch of snowy, crafted muscle that while he was skinny, he was far from scrawny.
She assisted him in shrugging off his shirt completely before using the shears from the sewing kit to cut away the bandages.

She dabbed each wound with rum to sterilise and clean them before taking up her needle.
“Take a deep breath, snake-boy.”
She delicately inserted the needle into the first fold of skin, starting to stitch the wound up.  

Red paused briefly for a moment, lowering her lips to the first gash and delicately licking some of the bloodied flesh.
She held it in her mouth for a moment before shrugging and swallowing. “Alright, the good news is that Layton didn’t make good of his threat to coat all the sabres with poison-powder. I had a feeling that guy was all talk and no muscle…typical…guys with big mouths are small everywhere else…”  

Red started to sew the wound shut. “The bad news is that once these are all done, you’re going to have to take it easy until they’ve healed.” She worked delicately, her fingers clasping each wound and tightly using the string to seal it and using triple stitches to make up for any weakness that the string may have had.
She decided that conversation would probably help to take his mind off the pain, occasionally lifting her eyes to meet his in the low flickering lamplight of the room.

“So…that whole snake thing that you can do…you’re a fruit-user, right?” Red smirked a little. “Or are you just a snake-demon in disguise as a man?”

((No problem! :DIt's absolutely fine. The post was perfect.))
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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Wed May 21, 2014 11:57 pm

Kaizen couldn't help but chuckle when Red told him that the caves were an area for random 'hook-ups' and bats. Kaizen never thought of a cave as an area to bring a woman for pleasures.. then again he never thought about much other then getting a name in the underworld. A cave to Kaizen was probably the best place to assassinate someone; it made stealth easy and made most situations easy to manage (since it's possible that nobody ventures into caves on a daily basis).

Red explained to Kaizen that they'd spend the night in an inn, which Kaizen had no choice but to agree with. He was about to offer to pay again until Red told him to hold on to his money. This sparked some interest. Kaizen had never convinced someone to give him things for free, then again he was never very good at having people 'like' him enough for that. Kaizen decided to follow Red and stay quiet.. since she asked him to do just that.

When they arrived she behaved like Kaizen said something funny. When she asked Kaizen to 'say it again' he remained quiet and smiling. It seemed like the best thing to do. However before the silence could be picked up she put attention to the person behind the desk, probably the inn owner or someone that sells the rooms, and made up a scenario with Kaizen as her husband. Kaizen smirked and remained silent, like she wanted, and closed his eyes to look at normal as possible.

She looked at his eyes at one point, to which Kaizen couldn't help but look back, she was very good at acting it seemed. Kaizen smirked when he saw her con the man into thinking that they were a couple.. he'll have to remember that. People were especially weak to married couples. Kaizen will have to use this in the future.

Kaizen studied what Red did at that moment. She made he man comfortable with her story, make him sympathize, then ended it by adding an inconvenience that the man could help with (and Red knows this). "Maybe Red isn't as useless as I thought she'd be.. it's a shame she had to see my true form", he thought.

Kaizen followed her inside the room after she ordered some drinking alcohol and a sowing kit. Kaizen instinctively cringed when he heard these things. It meant that the night was going to be a painful one.

Red and Kaizen walked up the stairs and through a long hallway (that's what it seemed like). Even with the bandages some of the pain still lingered, and it hurt.. a lot. Kaizen's endurance was 10%, which meant he couldn't handle or tolerate pain any more then an average man. His great physique is for his speed and agility mostly.. however, there aren't many people that know this. Eventually they found the honeymoon suite and Kaizen was escorted inside with Red.

The room looked fancy. Kaizen only hoped they'd decrease the price for 'the wedding couple'.. he did not want a big bill. The bed was round, and large, which gave Kaizen plenty of room to sleep. He tried to sit on the bed while Red attempted to sow his wounds shut. She heated up the needle and started to place it inside his skin and putting it back together. The wound slowly closed, and she made sure to penetrate his skin plenty of times to put more thread on the wounds. Kaizen grinded his teeth, knowing the pain was necessary, and drank the alcohol that she gave him.

She told him that when she finished he'd have to limit his movements. It was understandable, the last thing he wanted was to open his wounds again. Then he'd have to go through this pain once more, and the pain of removing the old threads as well. Kaizen tried not to pass out from this pain; the alcohol helped at least. Red made the moment easier by asking him a question.

"My dear.. *cringes from the needle*.. I'm no more a demon then you." Kaizen grinded his teeth from the pain and continued talking, "If by 'snake demon' you meant a fallen angel of sorts, a flawless creature in beauty, I'd happily accept the compliment *grinds teeth from the pain* . I could say the same about you." Kaizen tried to stay in her good side. She still had a good chance to kill him.. he had to make sure that didn't happen.

Kaizen waited until she finished sowing to tell her the bad news, if she was the passive type she wouldn't even argue. He wasn't about to pass an opportunity to 'play the injured card'. It seemed to work on most individuals.

"Since I am injured it'd be wise to give me the bed. You can lay on the floor, or the couch, and watch over me. I tend to flip around in bed in my sleep; it isn't uncommon for me to wake up on the opposite side of the bed in the morning." Kaizen tried to come up with two excuses to give him the bed. After the compliment he hoped he'd squeeze this key opportunity to grab the bed for himself. Just in case he continued talking,

"This bed is very big, it gives me more then enough room to move in my sleep." While focusing on the goal Kaizen forgot how suspicious it would seem if the 'couple' ended up sleeping in different parts of the room on their honeymoon. However, Kaizen was a bit tipsy from drinking multiple glasses of the alcohol that Red gave him.

Still, it would be hard for a normal person to say no to an injured man.

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Thu May 22, 2014 12:12 pm

Kaizen had confirmed Red’s suspicions that he wasn’t actually a demon but his next comment brought a bemused smile to her lips. This probably would have been the time to tell him that she was a Devil Fruit user too but she decided not to.
Knowledge, after all, was a valuable resource- both knowledge known and unknown.

“You can take that compliment from me, beautiful creature,  but I won’t be accepting the compliment in return, Kaizen-kun.” She put the final double stitch in the latest wound, breaking the string with her teeth. “I know that I’m beautiful. Lots of men tell me that every day…” She tilted her head wistfully, sighing. “And funnily enough, I haven’t yet met a man who could just say “Red, you’re beautiful” without it sounding like he wanted something in return or had some other ulterior motive. Though that’s life I guess.”

She shrugged, laughing a little as she dabbed some more rum on each wound to let the alcohol sterilise the open skin. “And to be a fallen angel, one has to actually have been an angel first. I wasn’t born an angel and I’ve never been an angel in my life…”

She took a gulp of rum from the bottle. “I’m probably more of a demon than you, as a matter of fact.” Red laughed again, winking. “A beautiful demoness, though, right?”

She listened to his next “proposition” and rolled her eyes. “Oh, don’t feed me that bullshit. First of all, I don’t sleep on the floor.  Second of all, you aren’t going to roll over in your sleep because you’re going to be in too much pain to roll over during the night.” Red stood up, leaning over to unbuckle his pants. “And thirdly, even if you do happen to roll over on top of me….”

She removed his shoes, socks and carefully rolled his pants down. “It wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve woken up with a strange man on top of me….”

Paying attention to her work, she bandaged up Kaizen’s legs once more.
“I’ll stitch your legs up tomorrow,” she told him, pulling the satin blankets over him. “The cuts aren’t as deep and you’re probably in enough discomfort as it is.”  

Red walked over to the other side of the room, undressing as she went. She disappeared into the bathroom for a moment and reappeared a few minutes later, wearing only her white blouse draped over her black bra and panties. She had also tied her hair back into a ponytail with a ribbon, exposing the place where Kaizen had marked her earlier.

Taking up a glass of champagne for herself, she slipped into bed beside him.
“Sorry, darling but you’re not getting me out of this bed unless you wrestle me out and we both know that isn’t going to happen.”

She lay settled down into the pillows beside him but keeping her distance from his body beneath the sheets.

Red had decided that sleeping with this man would only be her last resort and the feeling of his cold scales against her body was still fresh in her memory.  
Red groaned, putting her hand to the back of her neck and realising that something else was fairly fresh on her body.

“Good God, that stings…” She pouted, looking over to Kaizen and taking a sip of her champagne.
“Why did you have to take a swipe at me? Couldn’t resist touching this skin?” She giggled but then raised her eyebrow as something occurred to her. “In fact, why didn’t you just kill me?” Both of her eyebrows raised. “In fact, why did you kill the Stormforces in the first place? What did you have against Dugard?”

((OOC:  XD No problemo. Red ain’t a pushover.))


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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Thu May 22, 2014 3:35 pm

Red told him that she did compliment him, but that she wouldn't accept his compliment. Apparently Red has had many men in the past compliment her beauty, and not many called her beautiful without ulterior reasons. Kaizen understood. Most pirates 'do' call a woman beautiful for ulterior means, even Kaizen (although he probably has a different reason). Red must have been a victim of sweet words in more then one occasion, which made her vulnerable. Kaizen's grin grew while his eyes remained shut. She was definitely an interesting one.

She then continued to talk about fallen angels being angels at one point. She said that she was never one, and Kaizen didn't know what to think. She even stated that she might be more of a demon then Kaizen. He smirked, "In that case, I'm a Demon trying to get to Heaven." He didn't know enough about Red to think that he was more evil. All he knew now was that her life was never perfect. That explained why she didn't mind the sight of dead bodies and even stole the captain's wallet.

Eventually she finished with his wounds on the torso, which made Kaizen flinch somewhat when she had to cut the thread with her teeth. Earlier she had used her mouth to taste the blood for poison, which made her a very rash one. Kaizen knew of one venom that was dangerous to digest, and that's his own. There are likely many other venoms like his.

She directly confronted his statement. She 'called him out'. Red didn't believe in what Kaizen said, and gave him several reasons why she should remain on the bed. She told Kaizen that she wasn't sleeping on the floor, and that his wounds would prevent him from moving around at night. Kaizen didn't feel them as much as earlier, but to test it he tried to move his body around. In that instant the wounds felt stretched and he felt pain throughout my torso.

She stood up and started to unbutton Kaizen's pants. Red made the scene awkward for Kaizen, he was already prepared to turn to a snake if she tried anything that was questionable.. however, she seemed more concerned with the wounds around his legs. Red said she'd sow the wounds shut tomorrow, since he was already going to be in enough discomfort this night. Kaizen nodded, he relaxed after his suspicions were wrong.

After telling Kaizen she'd continue tomorrow she walked over to the bathroom, undressing herself as she walked. Kaizen instinctively gulped, but he didn't know why. He continued to show his smile with closed eyes in hope of hiding whatever emotion he thought he almost displayed. This was no time to get sidetracked by a woman with a questionable background. When she came out of the bathroom she wore a white shirt with black underwear underneath. Kaizen didn't look for too long and tried to put himself in a comfortable position in the bed.

She sat down next to him and said that the only way he'd get her off the bed was by wrestling her out. It was tempting, but he was in no shape for that. He responded, "If you want to wrestle, all you need to do is ask." Kaizen was toying a bit. He didn't bother putting his pants up again, he actually kicked them to the ground. She put alcohol on his wounds, which made them burn.. a lot, but he decided to ignore the pain as much as he could. Sweat started to drip down his body though, which gave some of the pain away. Kaizen had to admit though, even if his mind was set on one thing she did have a very.. provocative body.

She then asked him why he had placed a mark on her neck, but it was quickly interrupted by a later question asking him why he let her live in the first place. Should he tell her? Saying he's an assassin would directly confront all of these problems, and it wouldn't be lying. He just doesn't have to say he's from the underworld.

"I was sent by the village to kill the pirates. The one who gave me the mission told me, while sailing, that there were twenty-five men, so I knew you weren't a part of them. I follow my missions to the dot, it's the only way to earn.. more money." Kaizen almost said too much, he was about to say more reputation. It wasn't good that he decided to drink too much alcohol. Although there was one good question he'd like to ask as well.

"What were you doing there, my Red?" He asked this while putting himself comfortable on the bed. He laid on his back with his knees flexed until his abdominal pain disappeared. Being stabbed in the abdomen would do that to someone.

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Thu May 22, 2014 4:45 pm

"I might take you up on that offer of a good wrestle," Red smirked, taking another sip of champagne. " It's been a while since someone roughed me up properly. I enjoy a challenge. I do warn you though, I'm more of a dirty fighter than woman of strength..."

She listened to his motives for killing Dugard and his crew, raising an interested eyebrow. "So then you're an assassin? That's rather intriguing. The guy who gave you the mission must have been from this village or something. Or from one of the villages that the Stormforces have already pillaged. Those guys are..." She paused, reconsidering. "...were...pretty hated here in West Blue..."

Red finished the champagne, propping herself up on an elbow. "I can't really understand why though. I've been on tons of crews who were so much more vicious."
She refilled her champagne glass with the faintly golden liquid and added a quick splash of rum, making up another champagne and rum hybrid cocktail for Kaizen. "Here, try this...it's amazing...it tastes like a double-edged sword. Sharp and sharper again..."

Red listened to Kaizen's question and took a gulp of her drink before laughing melodically. "Wait, wait, wait...your Red? When did I become "your Red?" Ah...I suppose you did pay for my services. That means I belong to you for the next month, I guess. Hmpf..." She clicked her tongue. "Oh dear. It would appear I've done one of the three things I've sworn never to do. I've let a man pay me to go to a hotel room with him..."

She settled back against the pillows again, still sipping at her glass. "Why was I there? Well, I travel around a lot and I usually end up hopping from crew to crew because I find it difficult to stay in one place with the same people for too long...either because they eventually come to hate me or because I get bored of them..." Red crossed her legs beneath the table. "My travels led me to bump into Jerome Dugard in a tavern. He starts bragging about how amazing his crew are and buying me drinks and I can tell where this is going..." She turned over to look at him. "But I wasn't even slightly interested. I like a good one-night-stand, don't get me wrong...but Dugard was nowhere near my type. I'm a player...a huntress...I get what I want. I don't take what I get."

She licked her lips, coating them with rum and savouring the taste. "Mmmm...but I played the damsel in distress card when I heard he was headed to West Blue and he let me travel with his crew. He may have been stupid but he was certainly rich and I started stealing from him after a while, planning to ditch them all before we reached the next island...but unfortunately I got caught by the cook one night after dinner and the next thing I know, we're all gathered in this tavern for a "crew-meeting" and Dugard wants my head on a plate..." She paused, lowering her voice a little. "And then you dropped out of the sky...and saved me..."

"Thank you, by the way," Red told him, her tone changing a little. "For saving my life..."
She let the alcohol rob her of her inhibitions and leaned forward slightly. "You never answered my first question though. You didn't have to kill me but why did you mark me?"

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Thu May 22, 2014 5:47 pm

Red toyed with Kaizen and told him that she wouldn't mind wrestling him, but that she was a dirty fighter instead of a physically strong woman. That actually made her dangerous, because she won't miss any opportunities to land hits other people would be too ignorant to see. Red's fighting style was more.. dangerous then a person with 'honor-bound' fighting abilities. He couldn't help but smile when she said that though, it almost felt like a tease.

She told Kaizen that the people he killed were pretty hated in the West Blue, but like most evil pirates in the West Blue that there were much worse crews in the Grand Line. Kaizen understood because he heard rumors about the Grand Line through the underworld. If she has seen crueler crews then it had to be in paradise. She wouldn't have survived in the New World without extraordinary powers, and there weren't vicious crews in the West Blue that stood out above the others.. yet. Kaizen tried to sober himself up with these thoughts, but it was hard.

Red offered to give Kaizen a drink. It was a combination of rum and champagne. Kaizen decided to take it, knowing that the pain would be less severe if he was drink (he decided to give up on being sober) and chugged the cup down. His body shivered for a moment, since he wasn't used too tasting rum yet, and put the glass beside him. While in a more drunk state Kaizen heard Red comment on the part of his sentence that said 'My Red'. She corrected herself by saying that it was technically true since he bought her services for a month, at least she accepted that Kaizen was the one in charge. It made things easier.

Apparently she also violated one of her personal laws, she let a man pay for a hotel to spend the night with him. It's ironic, since the rule was probably for another reason. In Kaizen's tipsy state he managed to comment on it with his usual tone, "You should consider it an honor. You're the first one to share a room with me that survives the night."

Red told him that she traveled a lot, and that she basically needed the crew to help her get out of her ocean. She ended up in West Blue with a captain that she had a one night stand with. That meant she slept with him for one night. She didn't like that night it seemed. Kaizen couldn't help but smirk. he wondered what the man might have done wrong. Being tipsy helped Kaizen think of things that would be irrelevant when he's completely sober.

She mentioned when Kaizen dropped in the room and emphasized the part where he 'saved her life'. She looked lost in thought for a moment, although it was brief. Kaizen talked when she thanked him.

"Your welcome, my Red. But I guess this means you owe me your life then, right?" Kaizen tried to grab another one of Red's special mix but hurt himself just by stretching. He decided it was better not to open a wound for a cocktail.

She then asked him again why he marked her neck. She didn't miss his accidental skip through the question. It would have been better not to answer that when tipsy, maybe give it a day so he could make up a lie for her. But since he drank something strong he opened his mouth and said something truthful, "You intrigued me."

Kaizen's eyes suddenly opened in half, which showed a light green color between the white edges of the cat-like eyes. His smile suddenly dropped to an almost sincere one. It didn't take long before his eyes widened, like he realized something for a moment, then closed them again showing a calm face. His eyes closed again and his smile grew once again. "I'd rather you not ask me complicated questions, I'm tipsy it seems, which means most of my answers could be lies that my thoughts made up at that moment."

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Thu May 22, 2014 7:39 pm

Red couldn't help but laugh a little at his comment about her staying with him in the hotel room.
"Oh, so not everyone who spends a night with you wakes up the following morning?" She finished her drink with a smirk. "Oh Kaizen-kun..." She gave a fake gasp. "Don't tell me you're a dangerous man, Kaizen. I shouldn't be in bed with you, if that's the case."
Red bowed her head to him playfully. "Though, if that's true. I do consider it an absolute honour to be your only surviving room-mate."

She was slurring her words slightly by the time Kaizen brought up the fact that she owed him her life. She shook her head, reaching over to the side-table to fetch the bottle and rum once more. "Well, that's not so true, if you think about it. You may have saved my life but you wouldn't be alive right now if I hadn't helped you out of that tavern and bandaged you up. You would have bled out...so technically, we're even."

Red noticed him reaching for the drink bottles and smiled, her voice softening out. If she was going to be a nurse and get paid the optimum amount, she had to be a very good nurse. "Here, don't strain yourself too much. If you want something, just ask for it. It's what I'm here for..."
She poured him out another full glass of champagne and added a dash of rum before doing the same for herself.

"Cheers," she grinned, clinking her glass against his.

His answer to her question about his reasons for marking her took her be surprise. For a moment, he sounded almost genuine and his sudden expression change almost suggested that he was uncomfortable with his own answer.
Deciding to test her theory, Red leaned forwards further, getting a good look at the light green that glinted in his eyes under the low light.

"I think I'm a little tipsy now too so don't worry, we're on the same level." She smirked, brushing her hair out of her eyes a little. "And I'm used to having people lie to me...so go ahead, Kaizen. Tell me lies. Tell me lots of beautiful little lies." Red settled down beside him, now capable of feeling the natural heat that his body radiated.
"Why did you find me so intriguing?"
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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Thu May 22, 2014 9:41 pm

Red wasn't afraid when Kaizen told her she'd be the first person to survive a night in the same room with Kaizen. She was fine with sleeping in the same room with someone that declared nobody, except for her, have survived it in the past. Kaizen said 'survived' because he wasn't intending on hurting her for the night, like it had already happened, but who's to say he won't change his mind in the middle of the night? These thoughts roamed around the tipsy assassin's mind. Obviously he won't hurt her, but what made her so trusting? Maybe Kaizen overthought it. The fact was that a normal person wouldn't even help a person that's as deadly as Kaizen, so perhaps to her a world like Kaizen's was.. normal.

Red then stated that she didn't owe Kaizen her life, since she was saving his now. Kaizen wanted to bring up the 50,000 beli, but the truth was that Kaizen's job didn't involve a month of continual care. He'll have to play this the way it worked out.

She caught Kaizen trying to reach for a bottle and gave Kaizen a lecture about letting her get things for him. Kaizen's expression suddenly turned stern. He was supposed to ask for 'help' to get a bottle? That meant his body really was in a sorry state. Kaizen didn't like the situation already. But.. he almost felt something when she offered to bring him a drink. His priorities lost themselves even further when she poured another cup of her special mix, which found itself going down Kaizen's throat yet again after a brief 'cheers' from both of their ends. He was definitely tipsy now.. if not a little further. Of course, he didn't drink until Red confronted him about his answer. She wanted him to tell her more, even if they were lies.

Kaizen drank the rest of the special mix before he exhaled. The drink burned his throat, but he liked it.

"Your red hair.. it screamed out to me in the middle of the battle. I expect many things in my assassinations, however.. I wasn't expecting to see you. When I dove down I saw a civilian I had to save.. I knew the civilian was nice looking but when I got close I briefly looked at your face and thought you were beautiful. When I saw the two men touching you I couldn't help but kill them before they decided to do something else to you or me while being close. I feel like.. this had something to do with me marking your neck. I felt like 'teasing you' the same way you were teasing me with your blue eyes."

Kaizen didn't know what he was saying anymore. It felt like a mask had been removed for a moment. But realization hit him again. Red was getting too close to him, and he was getting too comfortable with her. What was she trying to accomplish?

Kaizen put his hand in front of him, trying his best to avoid any pain that might come from moving his torso.

"I think we've had enough to drink for today. You're getting too close, my Red. We'll have to continue this chat when I am more capable of speaking.. and movement."

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Thu May 22, 2014 10:31 pm

Red listened to what Kaizen had to say, quietly nursing her drink and staring at him as she spoke. She tried to keep a controlled expression but her features slowly started to slacken with a mixture of disbelief and genuine gratitude.
True, he had confessed that what he said might have all simply been a lie but she couldn't help but believe ever word that left his lips, simply because she wanted to believe him.
She had never had a man talk to her in such a manner before. He was direct without being blunt or lewd and he was poetic without being pompous or overly vague.

Red desperately fought to keep a playful smirk on her face but his words warmed her to her very core and at the same time, she hated it because there was the very definite chance that every word he was saying to her was a complete and utter lie.
Then it happened.

Then it really fucking happened.

He called her beautiful and she believed him.
Despite every logical fibre of her body telling her not to, Red believed Kaizen.
He was the first man to ever have accomplished that and it wasn't long before Red's cheeks were the same colour as her hair.
And the way he spoke about her hair...her eyes...

She took a long gulp of her drink, finishing it in almost one gulp as to make it appear that the redness was a product of the alcohol.
"Well...," she finally managed to say. "You wanted to tease me?" She forced herself to laugh. "Well, mission accomplished. You teased me with my own life for those few seconds. Next time, I suggest you just cop a feel like most other guys."

Trying to ignore how perfectly his white skin contrasted with his dark hair or how his eyes appeared to gleam like jade in the low lamp-glow, Red continued to study him warily until his hand moved to fill the last few inches of space between them.
Red had to agree with him; she was getting too close.
Far too close.

And not necessarily in a literal sense.

"You're probably right," she proclaimed with a smile, putting her drink glass aside and scooting back over to the far side of the bed. "We've both had a lot to drink and it's only a matter of time before one of us says something that they're going to regret..." She sat up in bed and pulled the ribbon from her hair, letting her long, crimson locks fall down to her mid-back once more. "If you need anything during the night, give me a poke but don't expect a fast response...I'm a light sleeper but I don't like to be awoken rudely..."
She turned down the bedside oil lamps to their lowest setting and then, feeling impulsive, leaned over and placed a playful kiss on Kaizen's temple.

"Nighty night, Kaizen-kun. Sleep well..."

It had been a long and exhausting day for Red.
Just the past few hours had taken a lot out of her-both emotionally and physically. As soon as she settled backwards, it wasn't long before she had fallen asleep- her hair spread across the pillow in scarlet waves and her breaths coming slow and deep with each rise of her chest.

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Fri May 23, 2014 5:09 am

Red agreed with Kaizen, she was getting too close to him. Kaizen exhaled; he was finally capable of relaxing in this tense situation. He only hoped he wouldn't face-palm himself tomorrow for saying things he shouldn't have. He had that feeling where everything feels right but it's obvious tomorrow it won't. He tried to slowly put himself in a comfortable position again, which he moved from in order to drink his cocktail while sitting up.

At first he attempted to put his left hand behind his head to give him extra leverage over the pillow. The slight head elevation might do him some good in his sleep. He laid face-up on the bed with the other hand in front of his chest. He made sure to throw his coat and pants on the chair nearest to him. He'll have to clean those clothes when he can move around. His white business attire shirt, socks, and shoes were on the ground though. Kaizen will have to get a new fedora soon; he can't find his black one.

When he finally got comfortable he heard Red say goodnight. She kissed him on the cheek and closed her eyes. Kaizen stayed up for some time to look at the ceiling. His stitches were painful.. and worse yet, he was at risk of opening them if he moved in his sleep. It's a good thing that Kaizen wasn't the type to move around in his sleep.

Kaizen closed his eyes and relaxed his body. He drifted slowly into sleep.. he hoped the rest of the days were easier to manage.

Days passed and Kaizen and Red remained in the Inn. Kaizen managed to get money from his wallet, hidden inside his pant's front pocket, to pay for the food and service whenever they asked. Red and Kaizen remained in the room, alone, for most days. Kaizen sent remarks at Red regarding her beauty on a daily basis and reminded her by stroking the side of her neck whenever she passed by. He did this to remind her of him saving her life, of course, but using it after he accidentally told her his thoughts wasn't a bad idea. It served to make almost any situation less tense.

Right now it's the second week and Kaizen's body is recuperating nicely. Red took care of him, and they drank almost every night together before going to bed. Kaizen made sure to make this a ritual to build a 'bond' between them. He'll have to do it to ensure his survival. When he could he helped around the house, but he mostly remained laying in bed. In some cases, when Red isn't looking, he does some minor exercises to keep his body in shape. He knew Red would disapprove so he made sure to do brief ones. He usually ended up sweating afterwards. Kaizen made sure to bathe himself after the first few days in the hotel to make sure Red wouldn't abuse his weakest moment besides sleep.

Today Kaizen woke up after another long night and looked at his wounds. He had some minor marks from the past that might turn to scars around his abdomen; but otherwise he felt fine Another week of this and he'd end up in great shape, or near perfect, compared to his original shape before the injury. Kaizen put his legs on the ground, slowly, and put his pants and shoes on (he got used to sleeping on his underwear with her). Kaizen turned into his hybrid form and decided to tease Red by waking her up with his claw gently touching her jugular vein. He walked to the counter after that, seeing some of the leftover dinner from yesterday, and got himself another one of Red's cocktails.

He drank the glass and sighed, sitting on the chair, "Well, I'm almost done healing you know. In another week I'll be paying you, and we'll be going our separate ways." Kaizen still planned on killing her.. but a small portion of him didn't want him to do it. Kaizen has never had his 'morals' fight against his 'reasonings'. Usually if he has to kill someone there isn't an emotion attached to it that prevents him from doing it, only caution prevents him. Yet here he was, with Red, and she actually made him think about not killing her. The situation was odd for Kaizen.

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Fri May 23, 2014 3:49 pm


Red awoke with a start, feeling a cold, sharp claw slowly dragging its way across the most sensitive part of her neck.
She let out a gasp, her hands immediately lifting to cover her neck as her eyes fluttered open.

“Mmm…Kaizen, you asshole…we had an agreement about you doing that to me…”
True, he had yet to actually honour that end of the agreement but it was the principle of the thing that mattered.

Red still felt rather fearful regarding Kaizen’s snake form- and not just because his skin was so cold and prone to making her shudder.

There was still something about him: maybe it was a previously forgotten childhood fear or maybe it was just the general air of sinister that the man had about him but all read knew was that she wanted to keep his snake form at an arm’s length.
She sat up, stretching and pondering their last few weeks together.

Things had gotten a lot more familiar between the two of them as the days passed. That said, she still hadn’t revealed herself as a Devil Fruit User to him.Their days had become routine-like. During the day, they’d chat, eat, swap stories (though lies more than likely featured heavily on both sides) and occasionally train. Red could afford to stretch and limber up a lot more than Kaizen could but he still the minimal amount that he could do in order to ensure that his body stayed in shape.

She found herself taking quick glances at him as sweat rolled off his skin and his trim muscles rippled with each bend.

It was for those very quick glances that Red felt lucky for the fact that they bathed separately in the evening before their usual nightcap of drinks. Then after Red gave Kaizen a quick look-over to make sure his stitches were doing alright, they would settle to sleep.

Every day, with each gash healed, Red could cut away at least one stitch. Last night, they had taken out his final stitch and now it was only a matter of time before he was completely back in working order, so to speak.

True, the sooner he got better, the sooner she got her money…but despite that, Red still felt a little melancholy at the idea that she wouldn’t be attending to Kaizen any more. In fact, they probably wouldn’t see each other again after he’d dismissed her.

“And to think,” she thought, looking him up and down from behind with a sigh. “I didn’t even try to sleep with him…probably a good thing…makes things less awkward…then again, I don’t like to be left thinking “what if”?”

Red got up out of bed and followed him over to the counter, looking at herself in the bureau mirror and fixing her hair as she walked.
Kaizen was talking about the fact that they were just about to reach the end of their time together and he also mentioned paying her.

Red smirked, taking the glass from his hand and taking a sip of it before looking back to him. “So will I be receiving ten thousand Beli or fifty thousand Beli then? I’d say I’ve done more than a good job. You’re starting to look great considering the state that you were in before.”

The thief took her corset-top and leather jacket from her satchel on the floor and laughed slightly. “You know what, Kaizen-kun? I think I’m going to be a little upset to have to leave you…we’ve been having fun, haven’t we?”

She headed to the bathroom, her clothes in bundle in her arms and her voice carrying out of the open door.
“We haven’t done much on the island yet, though. I’m starting to get cabin fever from staying in this room all the time.”

She strode from the bathroom a few minutes later, fully dressed and looking a lot less dishevelled. She took a paintbrush from her bag as well as a small black pot and delicately started to paint a fresh coat of deep red on to her lips.
She outlined her Cupid’s bow and filled the lines of her lips with the precision of a well-practised artist.

“So I have an idea for tonight. I think we should go out for dinner…just to celebrate the fact that you’re getting better and maybe to give a sweet ending to our last few days together…”
She looked up at him, chuckling softly as she added a dab of perfume to her neck. “I’ll pay. What do you say?”
**********************************************************************************

The Gilded Orchid was a pretty gala restaurant that wasn’t far from the island’s Inn.
After another act of coercion and convincing, the Inn’s receptionist had called ahead to get them reservations.

It was a busy night- the place mainly populated by locals and sailors who had just docked into port-and the fine, mellifluous trills of a string quartet played in the background.
Subtly adding melody to an otherwise percussive symphony of clinking cutlery and chatter.

As requested, the Shadow Snake and the Crimson Thief were seated at a private table for two by the window.

Reiko sat back against her seat, clad in her shimmering, strapless gown of scarlet and heels. She didn’t often get to dress up and this had seemed like a good occasion.
The waiter had already handed them their menus and finished with browsing her choices, Red put the small leather booklet aside.

“The guy at the counter asked me for our surname to make a reservation so I gave him “Fujiwara”…and then it dawned on me,” Red commented. “I don’t know your surname…” She leaned forwards on her elbows, looking up at Kaizen. “I don’t know how old you are either.” She laughed slightly. “I suppose it doesn’t matter much but then again, we’ve almost spent a month together…it’s a shame that we don’t know more about each other…”

Red sat back as the quartet began to play a new song. Couples rose from their tables and moved to the central floor for a waltz.

She smiled, offering Kaizen her hand and lifting a playful eyebrow.
“I have an idea as to how we can get to know each other a little better,” she told him softly. “But in order for to do that, you’ll have to dance with me…”

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Fri May 23, 2014 6:58 pm

Red took hold of Kaizen's drink, to which he smiled because he didn't see it coming. She asked him how much she earned, and he couldn't lie to her. She had been taking care of him for two weeks, and he couldn't have hoped for better results. He wished the scars didn't stay, but he'll have to deal with minor injuries. She deserved the fifty thousand, it's just too bad he wasn't going to pay money to a corpse.

"You deserve the full fifty thousand, my dear Red."

Not long afterwards Red started to talk about missing him when they parted ways. Kaizen didn't feel guilt at that moment, but he felt like her emotions will make the sudden death an unsuspecting one. She suggested that they go out of the room, mentioning that she was experiencing 'cabin fever' since she has been stuck in these four walls for weeks. Kaizen couldn't help but agree. The room was definitely outliving its convenience. Kaizen was tired already of moving around the same four walls, if anything he needed a night out.

Kaizen turned around after Red left his side and returned from the bathroom and saw her lips with red lipstick. She had a nice red dress with no strings and high-heels. Even after watching her for weeks, basically picturing her body, and attempting to keep his distance to make sure his emotions for her didn't grow, his heart still couldn't help but skip a few beats. Kaizen tried not to stare but his usually closed eyes opened themselves, unintentionally, showing his eyes in their half-opened state. He quickly closed his eyes, however, and returned his shocked expression to one with a fake smile.

"I'll get changed, my Red."

#################################

Kaizen showed up in the dinner with a white coat and silk-like pants. His shoes were also white but with a black snake insignia on the bottom that stretched throughout the entire bottom of the shoe. He decided to bring his white fedora this time, which matched, and wore his black business attire shirt underneath with a white tie. He only wore this suit and fedora combination when he knew there wouldn't be any fighting. In an area with civilians and a fancy selection of instruments it wasn't likely they'll end up in a problem.. not unless someone thought it'd be a good idea to rob from people with a lot of money... on second thought, maybe he shouldn't have worn his white coat and fedora.

A man sat them down next to a window. Everything looked expensive in the restaurant. How was Red going to pay for all of this? Kaizen had no idea.

Kaizen looked around and saw the people dancing on the open floor not far from the table he was sitting. Red apparently found out that she didn't know 'his' surname, which Kaizen wasn't planning on telling her now that he had a steady mind. She then realized, from that, that he didn't know much about her, not even his age. Kaizen was about to answer her, with what he could, but she stood up and walked over to him and put her hand out. She wanted to dance with the people in the middle. He grabbed her hand and stood up.

"I'll gladly share a dance with you, my Red." A small part of him felt a complex mix of both happiness and hatred. He hated that a small part of him was enjoying her company and he was glad that he was with her for this possibly last moment. His eyes remained shut, and fake, for his complex emotions though. How could he enjoy her company this much yet hate it? Things were too complex for Kaizen.

He walked, slowly, to the middle of the dance floor and grabbed her hand with his right hand and held her waist with his left. She was slender, and looked even more.. 'intriguing' today.

Maybe getting to 'know her' won't be a waste of time.. it was better to enjoy his current moments and finish them in the end. For now he had to trust her, because she hasn't given him any reason not too since the day he met her.

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Fri May 23, 2014 8:34 pm

Part of Red hadn’t quite expected Kaizen to accept her invitation to dance so readily so she let out a tiny, rather embarrassingly squeaky cry when he took her waiting hand and led her to the dance floor.
Surprised or not however, that’s not to say that Red wasn’t absolutely delighted when he did agree to dance with her. His body felt invitingly warm against hers, a heat radiating from beneath his crisp, sleek and pressed suit.  

She gave him a little poke in the side. “You’re still calling me your Red. You’re lucky I haven’t gutted you yet.” She giggled. “That’s what happened to the last man to try to claim that I belonged to him….” Red sighed slightly, looking away and feeling her face heat up. “Maybe I don’t care so much when you say it because I almost kind of li-…”

Reiko Fujiwara coughed sharply, trying to keep herself quiet; she needed to stop saying the first thing that came into her head. Not only was she starting to believe Kaizen's flirtation but she was also starting to have doubts about her own reckless nature.

Her patient's closed eyes, as always, were impossibly difficult to read but Red found herself very distracted by the sudden feeling of his body pressed against hers. Without having to be prompted, he immediately took up a waltz posture with her.

She placed her hand on his shoulder, feeling how broad it was and gently squeezing the folds of his white jacket. “Mmm, I must compliment your taste in clothing, Kaizen-kun. You look so stylish.” Red lifted a hand to briefly stroke the brim of his hat, tilting it back slightly so that she could see more of his handsome face.  “This hat makes you look like one of the mob though.” She laughed, teasing him. “Can we play gangsters?  Do you want to be the king of the mob?”  

Red returned her hand to his shoulder and gently started to move with him. “You’ve done this before. You’ve definitely done this before…” She rested against his shoulder, taking in the scent of his skin slightly before stopping herself once again.

“What am I doing? Red thought frantically. “Why do I want to keep getting closer to him? Why do I even care?

Lifting her head from her shoulder, she looked up at him. “Ok then, let’s play a little game. This game is called two lies and one truth. We both have to tell the other two lies about themselves and one truthful fact. The other has to guess which one of the facts is true…”

Red gently twirled under his arm, before settling against his chest once more. “I’ll go first. Here are three facts about me. Guess which one is actually true…. Both of my parents were killed by marines. I am champion swimmer and can hold my breath underwater for longer than a minute. I am actually blonde and I dye my hair…”

“Guess,” she prompted him. “And if you guess correctly, you can ask me any question and I promise to answer truthfully…”
She gave his hand a light and toying squeeze.
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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Fri May 23, 2014 10:07 pm

Kaizen walked to the middle of the dance floor, where other couples wouldn't dare touch, and started to move in unison with Red. She told him that the last man that tried to call her his was gutted by her. Kaizen couldn't help but gulp a little, since he didn't picture her as the type to gut someone. If anything it did solve the mystery of her whip. She wasn't as inviting the first time they met either. She would have let him die if he didn't play her game.. but that's the part of her that Kaizen secretly liked.

She stopped in the middle of a sentence by coughing it seemed. She was going to say something.. Kaizen could only guess. She said she didn't as much with Kaizen because she.. something. Kaizen couldn't hear the last word from her lips because the band in the background increased their tone for a second. Before he heard the clue in her sentence the sound took over and the next thing he heard was Red coughing. It could have meant that she didn't care because 'she' was going to kill 'him' anyways. She could have stopped herself before revealing her true motives. But that didn't make sense, why would someone openly tell Kaizen they'd be killing him? Kaizen decided to dismiss it. He learned to trust Red, even if his plans didn't exactly point towards that direction.

Kaizen held Red close to him and listened to her words. Red was complimenting his suit and taste in clothing. Kaizen smiled for a moment but then heard her tease him about his fedora. She said he looked like a mobster. Kaizen's eyes suddenly opened in surprise and he stopped momentarily. Did she find that out just by his hat? He found out it was a joke after she continued to dance playfully. He sighed and continued to walts with Red. His eyes, when she surprised him, opened slightly showing his usual half open light green eyes. It was similar to a death glare but his teeth gritted for a moment. When he saw she was joking his face returned to his calm state and he continued moving. That was a close one.

"Oh yes, the king of the mobsters, how do you come up with these things, my Red?" He rubbed the lower back of her back for some instinctual reason that not even Kaizen understood. This 'silent game' seemed fun. Red's face though, even when smiling, gave Kaizen a slight chill down his spine. Half of him wanted to kiss her, but the other half wanted to dig his claws into her throat for making him want to do it. The rest of him wanted to ignore those feelings and enjoy the moment.

After dancing he heard Red's proposition to get to know each other. She wanted to play two lies and one truth. Kaizen nodded. He enjoyed tactical games.

She told him three things that seemed absurd at first. One of them was that her two parents were killed by marines, the other was that she was blonde and that her hair was actually dyed, and the last one was that she was a champion swimmer. Kaizen started to think.

Her red hair had to be real because it never lost its color while they were in the room together. On top of that she wanted Kaizen to call her 'Red', which meant she was used too the name. Unless she painted her hair for most of her life, or for a very long time, that name wouldn't have stuck with her.

There was no indication that she was, or wasn't, a good swimmer. That guess will have to be random.

The last one was that her two parents were killed by the marines. It would explain her easiness around dead bodies and her very different nature compared to others that had good lives. She explained to Kaizen that she was never in heaven to being with so she couldn't be an angel two weeks ago. It made sense. How could someone leave in heaven with such a tragedy unless they deserved it?

Kaizen made an educated guess form what he learned.

"Is it that your parents were both killed by marines? If it is true, then I am sorry for your loss."

Assuming that Kaizen guessed well he asked a second question. He flipped her again and waited until she reached his chest for him to ask the second one. He did this before when she gave him the three choices.

"This is as close as you're going to get to me, my dear Red, but do you wish you were closer?" Kaizen made sure to lean closer to her ear and whisper heavily so his breath tickled her neck. Kaizen asked this to toy with her head. It was to show her that he was in charge in a delicate moment without being too aggressive. He lightly touched her neck with his tongue. He didn't know why but it seemed necessary. He enjoyed this game very much. Although it's obvious they won't amount to anything out of it he might as well enjoy the moments and please his heart. In a couple of days, or tomorrow, he'll have to break his own heart anyways. He might as well please it for now.

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Sat May 24, 2014 1:17 pm

Red’s breath halted in her throat…but not because he guessed correctly.
She had learned at this stage that Kaizen was very good at reading people and quite excellent at making inferences. She was also rather used to people showing sympathy for her following learning that her parents were dead.

Usually, this was the part where she’d explain to the other individual how and why her parents were killed and usually the conversation would spin off into a tangent about families or politics or something else entirely…  

The reminder of her parents’ death was not particularly emotionally resounding for Red: she had come to terms with what had happened a long time ago. The pain was nothing she couldn't, (to put it bluntly), drink, fight or fuck out of herself if she needed to.
She would have had no problem if Kaizen had kept talking about that.

But he didn’t.

Just as Red was accepting his condolences, the Shadow Snake flipped her, pulled her close to his chest and claimed the prize that he did not yet know that he had won.

“Oh it’s alright, I got over it when-…”
Her words died in her windpipe, her breath stilled and her pulse started racing at the feeling of his hot breath against the side of her face and her neck.

His question sent shivers down her spine and before she could concoct a cheeky, playful or dismissive answer, Kaizen acted in a display of dominance, possessiveness and surprising tenderness.
Red’s heart stopped altogether when she felt his tongue flick out against the most sensitive part of her neck and instinctively she moved closer to him, unable to stop her real thoughts escaping her lips.

“Yes,” she automatically confessed to him, her voice soft and breathy.  “Yes…I do want to be even closer to you.”

Red lifted her head, slowly running her hand to the back of his neck and guiding him to look down at her. She leaned up and softly brushed her scarlet lips against his own lips, her hand gently stroking his jet, black hair as she gave him a very gentle, very sweet but almost teasing kiss.
She broke away, whispering into his ear.

“But I shouldn’t want to get any closer to you… so maybe, we should stop this right now?”  
It made her heart ache but it was the truth.

They were going to part ways soon and Red wasn’t good with relationships at a close range. Besides, there was still something about Kaizen that secretly frightened her and furthermore, if he got to know what she was really like.
Her real selfish, desensitised, lewd and sadistic self.

There was no way he would want anything more to do with her.
The music gradually softened out and the quartet began to play new tune.
She rested her head in the crook of his neck, one hand stroking his chest and the other still holding his hand.

“Shall we return to our table then?”
She looked up at him. "Or maybe you could give me two lies and one truth about you?"

She was giving him the option to escape but at the same time, if he wanted to keep playing their game...he was more than welcome and she was more than willing.
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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Sat May 24, 2014 6:53 pm

Kaizen guessed right it seemed. She said 'Yes', but Kaizen interrupted her before it became too personal. The last thing kaizen wanted was to get attached to her. That would probably make his last mission difficult. He wanted to give his heart a break for the night; he didn't want to give it a reason to stop what he knew he needed to do.

Then kaizen interrupted her and asked about her 'wants' she agreed that she wanted to get closer. To kaizen this was a good sign, but also a bad one. It meant that she had possible feelings for him, which meant that he didn't have 'hatred' as a reason, or a motive, to kill her. He'll have to do it with a heavy heart. In the end he'll likely get over it, however, but that will be in the distant future.

Then it happened. She leaned forward and kissed him in the lips. Kaizen didn't see it coming, and he didn't know how to react. A small part of him wanted to continue, but most of him wanted this situation to stop. Her soft red lips touched his own like a warm and moist piece of flesh. He was about to bite her lips from instinct, since he's used too biting the second his mouth feels skin, but he held it back and managed to only nibble on her lips. His instincts were the better of him.

She said that she wanted to get closer to Kaizen, but that she shouldn't. Kaizen guessed it was because of their eventual goodbye, and she was right. She had the same thoughts as Kaizen yet she continued to express herself; even if it's unwanting.

She wanted it to stop right there.

Kaizen then heard her second option. She asked him to tell her two lies and one truth. kaizen wondered if he should just give her three lies or make them all truths.. but this game intrigued him, and it sparked a general curiosity in most people. kaizen smiled and held her close. The dance was now slow which meant he had to treat her more gently. He made sure, though, to keep one arm around her and the other holding her hand. The arm around her made sure she stayed on his chest.

To answer her complete question, whether to return to the table or not, he said the earlier one;

"I was once a mobster. My bounty is 10 million belli. I have people trying to kill me as we speak. Which one is the truth?" Kaizen smirked and whispered this in her ear while she stayed close to his body.

"If you answer correctly I'll answer anything you tell me with a truth."

Kaizen continued to speak, but after a brief pause to give her some room for thinking.

"Also, I'd like to remind you that if today was our last day we wouldn't want to spend it mourning over the future. We're supposed to spend it without any regrets. Would you rather defend yourself now and reduce harm, or be happy now and live knowing you did everything you wanted, without regrets?"

Kaizen held her chin up gently and touched his lips on hers once more. With this she'll completely trust him, and the small part of his heart that wanted to enjoy today is satisfied. A kiss that 'he' put on 'her' will satisfy his sadist personality and his feelings.

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PostSubject: Re: West Blue: The Shadow Snake meets The Crimson Thief   Sat May 24, 2014 8:10 pm

Reiko couldn't help but shy away slightly when Kaizen suddenly lifted her chin and gave her a gentle kiss. She returned the kiss automatically, lightly moving her lips upon his. She broke away after a few seconds, lowering her eyes as her face started to heat up. He was just taking her by surprise this evening, wasn't he?

Red could still feel the places on her lips where his mouth had gently nibbled against hers.
Kaizen’s actions were that of a tamed beast- animalistic and only barely restrained into some strange pretence of gentility.

And now…the feeling of his arm around her, his hand cradling hers as he led their slow waltz…Red was suddenly uncertain of her own feelings.
She was always the one who made the decision when to begin the game of seduction, she was always the one to control the pace at which it moved and she was always the one to decide when it should end.
She never played the role of the shrinking violet.

Right now, Red’s rational side- her long-neglected, rational side- was screaming at her to stop everything with Kaizen before she got too attached, before she started to want him.
He was going to pay for her services and soon they would part ways forever. If she chose to give in to her own desires, she would leave him as a little better than a prostitute.

Kaizen drew her closer to him still, keeping her head close to his chest and once again, she was forced to take in his intoxicating scent.
He presented her with three facts about himself, opting to take her second option and to continue their game. Part of Red cursed this decision as now she was starting to get light-headed with confusion, her face starting to grow hot and a knot of sorts starting to build in her stomach at the feeling of his body moving against hers.

“Come on, Reiko,”she told herself. “Stay in control. Don’t lose your grip. He’s just another man. Just an ordinary man. Like any other. You’re the one in control here…”

Before she could initially answer, suddenly Kaizen presented her with some thoughts for reflecting upon.  
Really, what he had done was say aloud the dilemma that her subconscious had been pondering all along. True, trying anything intimate with Kaizen could result in her heart being broken at a later point, (and all the more bittersweet as she’d be the one to have to break it), but would that really be as painful as having never known? As having never acted upon her desires?  

She distracted herself by considering the three options he had given her.

All three options indicated that Kaizen was quite a dangerous man.
Red knew from experience that people don’t just gain murderous enemies by accident nor did they gain ten million Beli bounties by any fluke.
And a mobster? Really?
If Kaizen had dealings in the Underworld, Red could easily infer that he was a powerful man as well as a dangerous one. Gangster families usually paid for their children to have high standards of education as well as extensive weapons training.
This made them tactical as well as tough.

Whichever was true…it only indicated to Red that her opponent in this game was just as much of a demon as she was.
And for some reason, that gave her a little more confidence.

Red began with the third option. Apparently, there were people who were looking to kill him right now. She really had no way of telling for certain whether that was true or not. Kaizen seemed fairly charming but then again, his more sinister mannerisms led her to believe that if he had dealings with a shadier side of the Four Blues- she wouldn’t be so surprised if there were those who held grudges for him.

The second option was that he had a bounty of ten million. Red knew that Kaizen was an assassin and usually assassins try not to gain a name for themselves with the World Government in order to allow themselves to work without notice.
A Wanted Poster would also be an unfortunate accessory for one trying to keep their identity a secret.
For these reasons, she dismissed the second option.

Considering the first option he had given her, Red looked up at Kaizen, smirking softly as her blue eyes scanned his face once more before travelling up to the brim of his rather stylish fedora.
“Well, I’m most likely wrong,” Red said with a wink as she looked up at him. “But if I had to guess just by looking at you. I’d guess that you used to be one of the mob. You’ve got the looks of a mobster, you’ve got the mysterious air…you can definitely fuck up anyone who gets in your way...”

Red rested her head against his shoulder once more. “And if by some miracle, I am correct, I just want to know one thing…” She lifted her eyes to look at his face. “Two weeks ago, you told me that when you first saw me, you thought I was beautiful…that my hair and eyes “called out” to you in the middle of the battle in the tavern…” She gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “Did you lie to me about that? And if it had just been you and I standing in that empty tavern, what would you have done, Hebi-san*?”  

She ran her hand from his shoulder down to his arm, settling her head against his chest and closing her eyes. “You’re a good dancer. Possibly one of my best partners yet…”

((*Hebi-san= “Mr Snake”))
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