It had been a long fucking day. Any member of the navy could tell you the difference between a long and a long fucking day, and the exhausted lieutenant of the great Captain Smoker had had an extremely long fucking day. It had started at four fifteen, when Tashigi's alarm had sounded through her quarters, reminding her to get up now if she wanted her extra time to train, the time she'd allotted herself ever since she'd limped back to Smoker in Alabasta. After her crying had come her promise, her solemn oath to get better, get stronger, and be ready the next time. And so she'd found herself out in the cold, racing across the track and practicing her sword play until she heard the siren that woke the rest of the men. What followed was the normal back breaking monotony of a day on standby, training, drilling, working, jumping at the captain's barks and the hours spent flipping through articles and news databases for word that might lead to the Straw Hats, his current obsession.
The Straw Hats....that thought was a headache in and of itself. As that bizarre group of pirates continued running around the world, the Captain was becoming borderline insane in his quest to find, or, in Tashigi's secret opinion, to understand them. The mention of them was enough to put him in a foul mood, and heavens had he been in one today. Snapping at everyone, shoulders tense all day, three cigars in his mouth at all times, and fingers drumming....that was the worst. It was a habit he only fell on when he was truly anxious, and was an instant red flag for Tashigi. His fingers drumming and face stuck in that grim scowl...eyes on the windows all day...looking for something, waiting for something...God knows she'd tried. Bringing him drinks, making sure everything was clean and well ordered, checking personally that all his meals were brought to him cooked to his liking...And if a day of hard work with a crabby captain hadn't been enough, her walk through town had been far from the relaxing stroll to the sword shop she'd been hoping for. Once her free time had started, the harmless excursion had seemed like a great way to unwind, but had ended with a door being flung open onto her face as a hapless shoplifter had run from the store before her.
After a good blind stumble on the ground for her glasses, Tashigi had been off, tearing across the streets in pursuit. After the chase of her life, and ascuffle that had almost dislocated her shoulder, she'd dragged the miscreant to the magistrate, and so found herself trudging down the now disserted halls of the Marine legal department, after two horrible hours of paperwork.
She glanced to her left, staring at the sunset through the windows.
I can't believe how late it is. A hand ran absently over her throbbing shoulder and then went to rub her eyes. She hadn't slept well last night, probably half the reason today had been difficult. To her right a few secretaries were finishing cleaning up the day's mess, and a young man was talking calmly on the transponder snail to a very distressed sounding caller.
"I understand ma'am..."
A shower....a hot, hot shower...
"Yes ma'am, I'll report it missing right away."
A hot shower and my bed. That's all I need.
"Hello, Lieutenant Tashigi!"
She nodded mechanically, and raised a hand to the greetings, then shuffled on to the end of the hall and down the steps. The captain would have to wait. He could have his report after her shower, it wasn't like he was going to be inhis office anyway. Little more than a desk and a chair, Smoker's "office"was a place for him to pace, stare out the window, scheme, fume, and stare at maps and wanted signs. She'd just come back up, slip the file under his door, pretend she'd given an official report to her superior, and lie to cover for him to the higher-ups, as usual. Half an hour, tops.
Nine o’clock surprised her. Tashigi’s casual glance to her timepiece brought her to her feet and leaping from the warm bath she’d so comfortably soaked in. A wet arm shot out to the bench nearest her, where her clean clothes lay waiting. After a frantic change she’d run halfway out of the bath hall before turning about, and running back. Snatching her forgotten boots and glasses from under the bench, Tashigi scrabbled into her footwear and bolted for the door. From the bath hall it was only a ten minute walk to Captain Smoker’s office, and barely a five minute run.
If I hurry, I can make it back before they lock up the main doors.
Through the hall, out into the cold, across the courtyard and up another flight of stairs into the large building that brought her back to where her exhausted reverie had begun. She took a sharp left, heading up the stairs that would lead her to Smoker’s office, such as it was. Her hurried pace slowed as she approached the top of the stairs, the thudding of her half tied boots quieting. She sighed as she reached the last step, running a hand through her moist hair and then reaching under her arm for the folder squished against her side. Tashigi reached for the handle, gave it an obligatory turn, and heard a sharp click. She smiled a little, sinking down onto one knee and setting the folder on the ground. She slid off her glasses and set them in her shirt pocket for a moment, rubbing the sore bridge of her nose.
Whaaaaat? Captain Smoker isn’t in his office doing desk work?
One hand still on the doorknob, Tashigi set her fingers on the edge of her paperwork, when a sound caught her attention. The hand on her folder froze and the other squeezed the knob tightly as she strained her ear against the wood. Tashigi bit her lip, glancing up the door. Just a moment before….had that been in her head? Frowning, she waited. After a few moments of stillness, she brought her attention from the door back to the file on the floor, and the alluring thought of her bed. But then she heard it again, this time louder, and more defined. A moan. Tashigi jerked her head up as another cry sounded from inside the room.
It seemed her superior was in there, and he was in pain.
“Captain Smoker!” She cried, leaping to her feet. Her hands flung to the door knob, only to fall back as she looked the door up and down. She could hear heavy breathing on the other side of the door, although it sounded faint.
He’s fallen, twisted a vertebra. A heart attack, the stress, an aneurism, a blood clot, maybe all the smoke finally collapsed his lungs-
Another groan, this one so breathy and strangled it didn’t sound like him it all.
With a violent kick and all the weight she could fling against it, Tashigi broke the door from its handle and lurched into the room.
She heard the startled shout before anything else, immediately turning to the direction of his voice. She stood next to his chair, knocked over onto its side, papers strewn all across the floor. Signs of a struggle, were they alone?
“Captain Smoker,” she gasped, straightening up and drawing her sword.
“T-Tashigi? What in the hell?!!”
“Cap-” Tashigi froze. It had taken a moment, without he glasses and the dimmed light of the room, but when her eyes had finally focused it had been to the blurry image of her Captain’s exposed back. Standing before his desk, his jacket crumpled on the floor, his pants around his ankles….and two bare legs, hanging off his desk….one foot still shoed, the other twitching with clenched toes…
“Oh my god!!!!”
“Oh my god, oh my god!” she cried, a hand flinging up over her face as she jerked her gaze away. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!!!” Tashigi wailed in embarrassment.
She heard a laugh, a quiet, almost giggling sound, definitely not her Captain, as she hurried back to the splintered door. It seems she had found the other moaner. By every god that had ever been….how stupid could she be? The captain had the decency to look at least a little embarrassed, but he said nothing, he only watched her with a fixed, stony stare and flushed cheeks as she hurried away.
Brain still reeling, it wasn’t until a moment before her exit, one hand on the damaged frame, that the quick sight of Smoker’s lover registered. Tashigi paused, despite herself, eyes slowly widening as the memory of that shoed foot caught up to her. That shoe…that boot…yes…it was a boot…a boot that looked just like…The strong, unfeminine leg, the deep tone in that escaped giggle…the boot….
Tashigi slowly turned back around, and brought her incredulous stare to Smoker and his companion. Heart pounding, she watched as those legs wrapped around her captain’s hips, then one long arm rose up from the darkness and left a hand on his shoulder. The one bare foot, (long and flat, not feminine….even less feminine then the legs…) rubbed languidly up and down Smoker’s leg and his well muscled bottom, (completely bare, her captain’s completely bare ass) while the other leg, and its incriminating boot, propped against the desk, bracing its owner. Heart no longer pounding, but slamming, she watched a second arm come from the darkness, pushing up the bare, tattooed body on her leader’s desk. Draping his arms lavishly over the naval officer, the young man pulled himself into a sitting position, and propped his chin on Smoker’s steel shoulders. Very unfeminine, mischievous lips pulled into a sultry grin, eyes gleaming at her in delight from under his messy black hair.
Even without her glasses, there was no mistaking the amused face, or the splotch of freckles across it.
“Lieutenant.” Portgas D. Ace purred, nodding his head towards her respectfully.
Lieutenant Tashigi didn’t get much sleep that night either.
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