The streets of Ayan were bustling with trading and activity as yelling filled every last corner of the port town. Fluer Frida crossed her arms across her chest as she entered a bar filled to the brim with drunken men and promiscuous women. Frida leaned against the outer wall of the establishment as she lifted her wrist and revealed her watch; she was exactly on time, but her contact was not. Remaining there for more than ten minutes, Frida grew increasingly annoyed with the absence of her contact, as he should know that her time is extremely precious and failure to obtain goods for her crew was not an option. She utilized her Devil Fruit abilities to sprout a rabbit nose in place of her own, as she walked around sniffing the air for any scent of her contact.
In an Alley nearby
Tabart drove his shoulder into his gut, forcing him onto his knees.
“Have you had enough yet?” Tabart exclaimed, breathing heavily as he awaited his foe’s answer. The man attempted to answer, yet there was a distinct gurgle that substituted the words. “Shit,” Tabart huffed annoyingly, “You got a crushed throat.” There was a distinct pause between his phrases, a space that he had hoped the man would fill with words, yet when he didn’t, his fears were confirmed. “That’s just my luck.”
Tabart approached the gurgling individual, pulling him to his feet. His face was very much distinct from the suave, brunette, lithe man with the cocky smirk that was his bounty. The blood that dripped from his forehead covered up his features, and the broken nose didn’t help much either. Tabart flinched at the sight; he never intended for this to happen, but there wasn’t much choice when someone spontaneously attacks.
“Well, crap man, you better use silent language or something,” Tabart desperately threatened. “Well, come the fuck on!”
Frida rounded corners and trailed down various crowded streets and alleyways as the scent of her contact grew stronger. It'd been twenty minutes since they were supposed to meet, and Frida was certain that something must've happened to him; this only made her job harder, as she now ran the risk of an enemy knowing the locations and shipping routes of her crew's goods. She sighed as two rabbit ears popped out of the top of her head as the noises around her were heavily magnified; in the distance, Frida heard scuffles in the same direction she faintly smelled her contact. She decided she had no time to waste, and transformed rabbit legs before hopping at a shocking speed towards what she hoped to be her contact.
Tabart sighed as the man chuckled arrogantly in response to his demand. “Take me seriously! I done beat you half dead! Answer my question! Where are the slaves?!” In an act of fury, Tabart slammed his foot into the man’s stomach, forcing blood from his abdomen onto the ground. The man collapsed onto his knees simultaneously. Yet, just as suddenly, a figure landed upon the earth behind them, the very strength of their legs creating a crater a few feet wide. Debris and dust blew into the air, providing the perfect cover for the man to attempt an escape, and so he did while Tabart was blinded.
“Don’t,” Tabart started, interrupted by his own cough, “Fucking move!”
By the time the smoke and debris had cleared, Frida had transformed back into her normal self. She squinted her eyes and tilted her head slightly upwards in a menacing manner showing her clearly displeased expression to Tabart. "You've caused an awful lot of trouble... but I suppose you don't even know that sheer scale of events that you've set off by attacking my contact. I'll have so many reports to file after this..." Frida's expression turned less menacing and she placed her hand on her hip before speaking, "He didn't tell you anything, did he? After all, moles are of no use to me."
Tabart's attention shot towards Frida as the contact scampered off, his lips curving into a confident smirk. "Couldn't. Broken throat," Tabart informed. "Though, yours seem to be in perfect condition, so maybe you'll care to tell me exactly what I wish to know." He slid his hands casually into his pockets. "Unless you wish to end up like that guy. Unfortunately though, I happen to be out of time, which means you'll get the question only once. Where are the slaves of the Sakura Kingdom being held? I'm very much aware that they haven't been sold yet, though that doesn't mean they won't be. Hurry, leave no details untold."
"Ufufufu, you're awfully funny. I suppose if you really knew who I was you wouldn't be so foolish as to try and test me... even if you were able to lay a finger on me, I could ruin you with the drop of a pin. But since I've got—" Frida pauses and looks down at her watch. "About ten minutes left, I suppose you can humor me. Maybe you'll even learn a lesson or two about picking fights with strangers whose abilities you may not know of... like a user of a Devil Fruit, perhaps?" Frida's legs once again morphed into those of a rabbit's raising her height almost five whole inches. "With the power of the Usa Usa no Mi, this will be over in no time." Frida ended with a smirk slowly painting itself onto her face.
"I don't have time for this," Tabart announced as he pulled a seed from his pocket and casually tossed up in the air before him. A surge of what seemed to be energy encapsulated the projectile, and when the smoke that poofed into existence around it cleared, what revealed itself to Frida was nothing other than a carrot. Tabart caught it and tossed it over to her. "If I give you a carrot, do you think that then you'll be able to help me out?" He inquired seriously. "I really need to know where these slaves are, and your pride in whoever the fuck you are isn't helping. Honestly, I could care less about what crew you're in, whether you're a marine, a wife, a mother, or whatever else. All I care about is this information, so hurry, and like I mentioned earlier, leave no details untold."
On the inside, Frida was extremely furious at Tabart's disregard for her and grew only angrier when he offered her the carrot. She was disrespected and didn't plan on allowing the man to slip away without punishment. "I don't recall a moment where I ever thought of telling you anything... I do recall however, the strong urge to beat you into the ground." Frida spat with a look of wrath spread across her face. She pressed her rabbit foot on the ground before launching herself into the air and creating a small crater in the stone where she had been propelled, before she transformed her hands into paws with razor-sharp claws, intending to swipe at that man who tried her patience.
Tabart immediately thrust upwards onto the roof of a building that stood tall over the dark alley, gaining some distance between Frida and himself, but most importantly from the carrot that he had tossed earlier. Upon landing, he slammed his hands together, commanding the very vegetable that he had created to transform, and, like all plants of the world, it followed his command. The carrot exploded lesser green seeds, which upon making contact the ground, or any other inanimate object, combusted into a maelstrom of flames that consumed the alley below in an ocean of heat. "That would've been a lot easier if she just ate the damn thing," Tabart sighed under his breath, stepping back from the edge of the building, almost as if he expected her to leap towards him through his attack.
Alas, nothing and no-one leaped from the inferno, and Tabart looked up with a sense of pride. Much to his shock, when he looked up he was met with the cold eyes of Frida, who stood with a blank look on her face on the roof ledge of the opposite building. Suddenly, Frida's mouth slowly turned into a sly smirk before she broke into a faint giggle. "Ufufufu~ you're cute. Your magical beans won't suffice in defeating me, however. I don't have time for idle chat however, so how about we continue?" With that, Frida drop-kicked the concrete roof, which sent a large piece of cement flying upwards into the air. Frida then rounded her body and kicked the concrete boulder toward Tabart as if were nothing but a soccer ball.
"Dammit, that didn't work either," Tabart panicked as the concrete board swung towards him. He jumped backwards, simultaneously pulling a seed from his pocket, and within seconds he had pitched the seed towards the slab of rock. Moments before making contact, the seed materialized into what seemed to be a trampoline. The construct bent inwards as the boulder flung into it, stretching the fibers that supplied its strength to its breaking point, but suddenly it snapped forward, sending her own attack surging through the air towards her with a power that she provided.
Frida jumped high into the air as the boulder headed towards her as she waited for the moment where it was directly underneath her; when this moment came she planted her foot on the side of the boulder as she descended, before pushing off and sending both her and the boulder flying in opposite directions. The boulder soared across multiple rooftops before colliding with a house, which then erupted in flames as screams were heard in the distance and Frida landed gently on the rooftop that Tabart was on. She briefly looked back and whistled lightly before turning back to Tabart and transforming both of her hands into paws with razor-sharp claws and swiping at him.
"Shit," Tabart muttered, glancing towards the explosion that encapsulated the neighborhood. His glare steadied towards Frida as she charged him almost immediately after. He ducked under the first swipe, leapt backwards from the second, and barely dodged the third as the very end of the claw made contact against his naked flesh, leaving a slice that dripped blood upon the roof. Tabart flinched, leaving him open briefly, to which Frida capitalized on.
She slammed her foot into his gut, forcing up saliva as he quaked in pain, while simultaneously sending him soaring into a nearby building. "Man that hurt," Tabart groaned as he pulled himself from someone's wall. His eyes met the family's own, a small child, and a mother who stood on the other side of the room, trembling in a fear that he too would claim if some random guy just suddenly was slammed into his own home. "Sorry about this," Tabart apologized, leaping from their house back onto the roof that Frida occupied.
"Listen, let's take this somewhere else," Tabart spoke gravely, "We're destroying innocent people's homes. It's not right."
"Hmph, fair enough. Please, allow me to escort you to a better suited place." Frida smirked before speeding towards Tabart and at the last second spinning around before using her rabbit leg to deliver a powerful kick that connected directly on Tabart's chest, which sent him catapulting off of the roof and into the air. Lucky for him however, the rooftop they were on were on the outskirts, and the location where Tabart landed just so happened to be one of the large trees that dotted the perimeter of the town, which more or less cushioned his fall. Not long after, Frida propelled herself in the same way as Tabart, but landed on her feet several feet in front of him.
Tabart fell from the tree as the branched collapsed beneath him. His bones ached and cracked as he forced himself to his feet. "That's...not what I entirely meant, rabbit girl," Tabart spat, dusting his clothes confidently. He pulled a bean from his pocket, and from it grew a handful of what appeared to be spinach. "Though, now that we're far away from people, I can go all out." With haste, Tabart stuffed the spinach down his mouth, and within moments his body became almost irregularly bloated with muscle.
"Now, come with haste, Bunny girl."
Frida's eyebrows furrowed and she moved her lips to create a disapproving pout, showing her disdain for Tabart rather visibly. She blew a strand of hair out of her face and fully transformed her entire body into a lupine form, appearing similarly to a humanoid rabbit; she replaced her legs with the strong haunches of a rabbit and her arms with large paws that revealed even larger claws. She then propelled herself off of the ground, leaving a small crater in her wake as she closed the distance between Tabart and herself by hopping across the ground at dizzying speeds. As she was about a foot from him, she jumped into the air above Tabart and began to descend on him with the intent of delivering a deadly kick to his head.
Tabart's eyes followed Frida's entire actions, his latest transformation showing some tremendous increase in reflexes. He waited, bided his time until she sat above him, and he unleashed a blazing punch of his own towards her leg in attempt to intercept it. The clash between their blow created a shockwave of energy that enthralled the surrounding areas in its might, churning the very tree that Tabart landed upon into a cyclone of wind that spawned in response to the shockwave's clash between the winds. Yet, in the middle of this herculean interaction, Tabart took another punch with his other hand towards the same leg as a means of overpowering it with both arms, as opposed to one.
As the punch connected with Frida's leg, she yelled out and fell from Tabart's grasp as she hit the ground with a thud, dust rising up into the air. She reverted back to her human form to see her leg bleeding profusely and seemingly broken, as it pained her heavily when a shooting pain greeted her as she tried to move it. Her face formed an expression of disgust towards Tabart as she used her good leg to push herself back from the man, slowly scooting backwards on the ground. A few seconds past as Tabart simply looked at her, before Frida finally spoke. "What? What are you waiting for? Aren't you gonna brutalize me while I'm hurt, like you did him?" she spat.
Tabart's eyes fell upon Frida's abdomen as her clothes, being slightly torn in the process, revealed a mark that he had come to grasp the nature of.
"You were a slave before," Tabart outwardly addressed, pulling a seed from his pocket and pushing it into his mouth. His muscle bloated figure dissipated, revealing his lithe, but rather developed, physique.
"That means you can't possibly know where the slaves are," Tabart expressed disappointedly. "Looks like I failed in my mission letting the other guy go then....and in hurting an innocent woman."
Tabart started approaching Frida cautiously as a means to not startle her. "I'm a doctor, let me help, please."
Frida's mouth twitched in disgust as she covered her abdomen with her hand. "H-how dare you infer such a thing! It's j-just a tattoo! You assuming that I don't know where the slaves are is a foolish decision, as I'm one of the few that does! But I-I'll never tell you." Frida leaned backwards as though she was going to scoot further, but she then stopped as she reluctantly allowed Tabart to begin his work.
Tabart smiled and shook his head as he kneeled down towards her leg, inspecting it. "You don't need to cover it up. If there is anyone that know the pains of slavery, it's me. My father was a slave, then my mother and I, and then after escaping, I was enslaved again. It's why my entire purpose is to break people away from those shackles that hold them," he continued, carefully grabbing Frida's leg to examine it in greater detail.
"So, if you know where these slaves, I really need you to tell me."
"You're a fool if you believe I'll ever tell you. It'd ruin me and my reputation... so you'll just have to give up!" Frida spat and she winced when Tabart grabbed her leg. "I don't need your sob stories either; I have no sympathy for slaves, life is only as great as the amount of wealth that you have. And slavery just so happens to be a rather profitable source of it."
Tabart wore a tranquil smile as he stood up. "Is that so?" Within an instant, he slammed his foot onto her broken leg, twisting his boots on her bruised flesh. "I only need your mouth for this endeavor. I don't actually care if you end up losing a leg." Without changing facial expressions, Tabart stomped on her leg again, tremendously harder than the first.
"You're going to tell me where the slaves are, or I'm going to rip every limb of your body. Understand?"
Frida released a blood-curdling scream that caused birds to fly out of the trees and away from the battle. After Tabart had stomped on her leg for a second time, she screamed again... although, the scream seemingly turned into... laughing. Seconds later, Frida was laughing maniacally almost as loud as she had screamed. She slowly stood up as well as she could with her mangled leg, laughing all the while; slowly, the laughing trailed off when she stood up fully. Then, she whispered, "Route... de la Lune..." With this utterance of words, Frida's body began to contort and shake as her torso grew massive and became engulfed in masses of white fur with red stripes. Her limbs shot out from her body as she grew several times larger than Tabart, with her arms being nearly as long as her entire body. Massive claws that appeared to be so sharp they seemed to cut the air sprouted from her hands, and her eyes became large and blood-red as teeth like shards of glass sprouted from her gaping maw. As her transformation was complete, she roared and shook the ground with her strength.
Tabart flipped backwards as Frida transformed into the monstrosity that she called a rabbit. He'd be damned if he ever saw a rabbit as ripped as that, and he'd be damned if he would even try to challenge such a beast in physical combat.
"You can get big as all you want, but know I'll counter it with my accuracy and agility!" As he gained space between himself and the rabbit, he reached into his pockets, hurling seeds by the dozens towards Frida's massive body, hoping that her size would have at least deterred her ability to accelerate as quickly, long enough for at least a few of his explosive plants to at least make contact.
Frida —or rather, the beast she had become— quickly spun her head in the direction of the seeds, before seemingly begin to run towards them. What seemed to be like a fraction of a second before they made contact with her, she launched herself off of the ground, two large craters were her legs had been previously; in the air, she stuck both of her legs outwards in an attempt to land directly on top of Tabart and crush her with her large body. She roared as she flew through the skies and neared Tabart as his seeds exploded behind her and created a rather dramatic effect.
Tabart attempted to leap backwards, yet Frida's far superior speed, especially without his earlier enhancement, left him unable to dodge. It had seemed he miscalculated her speed dramatically. As her body slammed onto his own, sending him quickly into the earth, Tabart spat in pain. "Get....the...fuck of me you big behemoth," he struggled as the weight of her body left him unable to move. In desperation, he punched her feet, yet, such proved to no avail. There was an immense, physical, power gap between Frida and Tabart that without his seeds, he could not hope to overcome.
Frida threw back her arm, with the clear intention of practically tearing off Tabart's face with her large claws. As she did this however, she suddenly stopped; a few seconds passed, before the giant beast began to shrink in size, and return to normal proportions before eventually completely turning back into Frida's normal form. She was still pinning Tabart to the ground, but her eyes were glazed over and she was heavily breathing, showing clear signs of exhaustion. Rather surprisingly, she seemed to fall unconscious moments later, landing on Tabart as she did.
Tabart's breath stood still, his hands continued to tremble as he body quaked in fear of being torn apart, even long after Frida had passed out. "Fuck me, I barely managed to hold out," Tabart complained, pulling himself from underneath of her. "She probably used up too much energy healing her leg. If she had started out the battle in that form, I would probably be dead. I should have been a tad bit more careful." He looked off in the distance towards the town, watching as a wave of white coats approached to capture them both.
He kneeled down, picking up Frida's body into his arms. "Oh, you better thank me for this later." With that, Tabart took off in the opposite directions.
Aftermath of the Battle Edit
Several hours had passed since Tabart and Frida engaged in a battle which brought upon notable destruction and casualties to a town, and apparently an orchid, nearby. He personally never imagined that was enough to warrant a swarm of Marines, but he assumed they must have had nothing better to do than come arrest two pirates. Thus, he had retreated to an inn, renting a room for the both of them until the woman became conscious at least. He sat at the edge of the window, the curtain covering most of it, and simply watched for marines. He never knew when he would have to retreat again. Though, every couple minutes, he would turn to face the bed where Frida rested, to make sure that she didn't hit the floor or something.
As Tabart looked out the window, the sudden shock of cold metal against his neck jolted him out of his concentrating daze. Warm breath blew on his ear as a woman's voice spoke in a whisper, "Where, are we..." she inquired as she readjusted the knife in her hand. She was still weak, so much so that it became visible when she started shaking simply from standing. Frida reached her hand out and supported herself with the nearby wall, momentarily stopping her shaking.
He turned to face her and sighed casually. "We're at an inn. You collapsed during our fight, some marines showed up, so I took you and escaped. You're still weak, so sit back down on the bed and relax," Tabart informed, turning back to the keep watch for any more marines through the window. She didn't pose a threat to him now, even with that knife. "That was a crazy power that you used there, but it leaves you far too drained. I'd recommend against it next time, especially when you're alone. Though, if you started the battle with that form, you would have killed me. I applaud your strength."
"Tsk, you're a fool... I-I'm not weak, I'm perfectly fine." Frida said, before sheathing her knife. "Of course I could've killed you, and I won't hesitate to finish the job if you cross me again." Frida say down on the bed, and looked down at her feet as almost a minute of silence passed. "Listen, I'm sorry for trying to kill you... thank you for bringing me here. Even though I tried to end you, you still brought me here away from danger."
"Ah, don't worry about it," Tabart responded, pulling the curtain closed. He hadn't seen any marines in a while, and it wasn't likely that they would appear anytime soon. Night was approaching, and they had much bigger issues to attend to at night than two pirates who caused some damage. "It wasn't like I was completely in the right either. In fact, I was the one who started it, so don't worry about it." He moved from the window to the middle of the room, crafting a bed of flowery plants with his powers, while simultaneously spawning what seemed to be apples and oranges into his hand. "I don't have any meat, but I do have tons of fruit and vegetables if you're interested." He plucked it from the edge of the bed and tossed it towards Frida.
"We can grab some real food in the morning."
"You don't have to sleep on a bunch of flowers, you know. The bed is big enough." Frida said, patting the spot on the bed next to her. She began to feel better emotionally from Tabart's reassurance, and even went so far as to grab an orange from his hand before peeling it slowly, looking down to her feet. "Sounds like a plan, I suppose." Frida briefly peered out the window, looking out towards the horizon, which had become a canvas filled with hues of orange and yellow. She yawned, before finding herself curling up on the bed. In her mind, she was scolding herself for being so trusting, and allowing herself to be vulnerable to an enemy... she blamed it on her fatigue.
Tabart shrugged and move up to the bed besides Frida. "Just um, promise that you won't stab me in my sleep," he joked, a small smile creeping unto the corners of his lips. At this point, he was under the impression that if she really wanted to kill him, she would have already. The entire fight suggested that she was toying with him largely at the beginning, and in the end her transformation was in self defense rather than through an innate desire to end his life. Plus, after learning that she was a slave, Tabart couldn't really help but trust her for some reason. If anything, that was his Achilles heel: another former slave. He always had some weird emotional attachment to them, a trust that they probably didn't deserve, but he couldn't mentally deny.
Sunlight crept into the small room through the only window as the unrelenting rays found themselves on Frida's eyes, causing them to flutter open. She yawned and rolled over, nearly knocking Tabart off of the bed, something which most likely startled her more than it did him; she simply wasn't used to anyone in the bed next to her, especially not someone that she had brawled the day prior. She slowly crept out of bed, being careful not to wake the sleeping man; although she was silent, there was a mental battlefield inside of her head as she contemplated various ideas. Should she leave a note, then just hightail it out? No, that'd be rude... would it really be though? Yes, it would... well, may-. Frida's thoughts were interrupted by the creaking of a bed and the yawn of an awoken Tabart.
He leaned upwards, stretching, rubbing his eyes, and all sorts of routines that he did whenever he was allowed to wake up peacefully. "Ah, you're up already I see," he lazily deduced, oblivious to any thoughts of abandonment that ran through her brain, as his own rarely worked this early. He slowly pulled himself from the bed and to the window, spotting nothing but civilians and the like strolling around casually. "It looks like there's no one out there right now, but I can't say for how long. I wouldn't doubt that they gave up on our pursuit either, yet I can't say that with absolute certainty either. Let's pray your bounty isn't as high as I'm imagining," Tabart joked, looking towards the bathroom.
"I figured you'd want a room with a bathroom. You don't seem like the traditional sloppy pirate."
"T-thanks..." Frida muttered, as she rubbed her eyes to get rid of the heavy eyelid sensation. She walked into the bathroom, shutting the door behind her before starting the bath. She looked into the mirror, and was shocked to see a woman peering back at her that didn't remind her of herself. This woman was disheveled, covered in scrapes and bruises, and was having an awfully bad hair day... Frida was surprised by herself for not breaking down in tears right then and there. Wasting no time, she stripped down and dipped into the bath, taking her sweet time to wash every bit of grit off of her body before she committed to her daily makeup routine, which covered up all of her bruises around her facial area. After she was done perfecting her hair and donning a fresh set of clothing, she slowly opened the bathroom door to find Tabart sitting just as he was before.
Tabart nodded and went into the bathroom after her, showering himself, brushing his teeth, and other basic necessities, remerging in a much more timely fashion that Frida, but slightly less groomed. His appearance was one that befitted a traditional Alabastan; he donned a turban, a large number of jewelry that implied an acquired wealth, and liberation. It was almost a disguise for him to mask his past as a slave. That, and a smile.
"A nice bath is always nice before breakfast in the morning," he spoke. "I hope you're feeling less exhausted than yesterday."
"Yeah, I suppose." Frida spoke, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear as she examined Tabart. He was a rather attractive man, especially in his Albastan attire; however, she still had some negative energy towards him as expected. She couldn't help herself to trust him however, but she did still think it was rather weird that they were fighting only hours before and were now heading out on the town as if they'd known eachother forever. She supposed it didn't matter now, so she walked to the door of the room and signaled Tabart to follow.
Tabart followed Frida out of the door enthusiastically, almost thrilled to get out and view the sun. He always had been a man who enjoyed the sun; it energized him, and he was never too sure if that was because of his Devil Fruit, or from growing up in the deserts of Alabasta, but the fact that he felt truly alive in its presence remained truth. His tone reflected his mood.
"By the way, my name is Tabart. I don't think we've actually introduced ourselves to one another yet. Mainly because...well, you know," Tabart continued upon coming upon the realization that they truly didn't know her name.
Frida made a "tsk" noise and a smile slowly spread across her face. "Not so fast, Plant Man. I have a reputation to upkeep, and I can't just share my name with a person who tried to kill me a few hours ago. For now, you can just call me Bunny." Frida opened the door leading outside, before looking over to Tabart and speaking once more. "Lead the way."
“Bunny?” Tabart chuckled, amused by the statement. It was almost like some sort of code name, something that through his years of operations with a foreign mercenary that he had become accustomed to, especially when using a Den Den Mushi to communicate. You could never know who was on the other side of those.
He took a step outside, leading the duo down the children filled avenue as the town danced to the tunes of peace. If he had remembered correctly, this island, in particular, was under the protection of some big name business owner, meaning both pirates and marines were often obligated to ensure its safety. It was almost some sort of haven.
Tabart smiled in amusement, turning to face Frida. “So, Bunny,” he teased, “Anyplace that you call home? I’m assuming you have to belong to some pirate crew since that contact was here meeting with another pirate. Or so he claimed to be. I can never be too certain on whether the man was lying or not.”
"Did I beat you so bad you got memory loss or something?" Frida taunted, placing her hands on her hips and raising one of her eyebrows in a quizzical manner. "I told you already about my constant need to lie low; again, you've only recently started to be hospitable to me. Keep it up, and maybe you'll get something more out of me... maybe." Frida teased as the pair arrived at the town's marketplace, which was alive with the sound of bartering salesman... and more importantly, money. Frida scanned the landscape, and saw a particularly expensive-looking man pompously walking through the streets, snubbing the vendors as he walked by with a thick stack of beli visible in his pocket. Frida smirked, before looking over to Tabart if he was thinking the same as she was.
By the time Frida had already taken a look towards Tabart, he was already well on his way to make with the man's pockets. Under the premise of being an accident, he bumped into the pompous individual, excusing himself while taking the heat of the noble's furious insults, as if Tabart's touch was an insult to his pride. He hurried back over to Frida, taking a detour in the opposite direction before the man realized he had been robbed, but something told Tabart that he would most likely never figure it out, or probably care enough to take action.
As the duo walked down the street, Tabart pulled out the sack of Beli, estimating its count by its size roughly. "Looks like we got enough for a nice breakfast."
Frida giggled lightly as the two walked down the street, the restaurant coming into view. It seems that they picked a rather grandoise one, as people not unlike the man that had "given" them the money walked out with fancy dresses and small yet unbearably annoying dogs tucked into hand bags. The two walked into the restaurant, which revealed that grand was an understatement; the floors were heavily polished, the seats and table were large and comfortable looking, and the whole place smelled like food that only a select few could afford. Frida whistled as she looked around and examined the area.
"Holy shit," Tabart slipped, almost covering his mouth as he did so, fearing that his profanity would be unwelcomed in a place such as this. He quite literally didn't have words for how fancy the restaurant was. His pockets felt light from even breathing the same air as these individuals, yet, it had appeared that the waitress that came to escort them to her table, held both Frida and Tabart in the same light based on appearance alone.
"Table for two?" She rhetorically inquired, picking up menus of the such and directing both he and Frida to another. The two were escorted upstairs to a small booth that sat on the edge of a window, providing a tremendous sight of the town from their perspective.
"I'll provide a moment for you to decide your drinks, and I'll be back to collect your wishes!" With that, the woman scurried off, leaving both Tabart and Frida alone temporarily.
Tabart wiped a bit of sweat that dripped from the side of his face. "How much do you think we have to tip at this place? I bet it's a fortune."
"We don't have to tip anything, realistically. Dining and dashing is a common occurrence for me... I suppose I should only speak for myself though. I don't exactly know your moral alignment as of now, so I suppose we could just tip." With this, Frida opened up a small black handbag that she had carried with her, before pulling out a 10,000 and 500 beli bill and lying it on the table. She also pulled out a small hand mirror before examining her reflection and fixing her hair lightly; she glanced up momentarily to notice Tabart staring directly at her, which caused her face to turn a bright shade of red and her to flip the mirror closed and put it away quickly.
"Wealthy and beautiful. That's a powerful combination, Bunny-san," Tabart complimented, sliding her bills back towards her. "But please, let me take care of the tip." He pulled out a wallet of his own, indicating that he to had the necessary funds to provide the tip. Tabart, despite his cheapness, was a man of slight wealth. With the assistance of the merchants of Nassau, he had managed to acquire a fragment of Treasure Tree Adam's wood, which, using his devil fruit powers, he had managed to replicate and mass produce to a small degree. Where ever he traveled, he would make sure that he would sell it to a buyer for considerably less than it would be otherwise. Lately, he even started using his pirate's crew, circus stunt, as a front to distribute it to nobles and pirates who were in attendance.
"Afterall, the more hospitable I am, the closer I get to learning your name right?"
Frida's face grew even brighter and she instinctively brushed her bangs to the side of her face. "Ehehe, y-yup!" she stammered nervously, as she was mentally praying that the waitress would return soon so that she could break the awkward tension that was established between the two. Her eyes darted around the room at a periodic pace, and she thought of the possibility of her ordering alcohol that night; she didn't much favor it, but she decided that the day had been too long and too stressful for her to handle. To think, it all started fro- then, it hit her. Frida had a very tight schedule to abide to, and she had anticipated that the skirmish between the two would've ended in time for her to manage said schedule; Frida began to internally panic, as she began to think of how her crew was reacting to her absence. What if they needed her? What if they thought she died? Frida dug around her purse and gripped on her Den Den Mushi, before she excused herself and ran to the bathroom. Once in there, she pulled out her Den Den Mushi and attempted to reach Redbeard. The snail beeped for a few seconds, before the booming voice of Redbeard came through to her. "Eh, Frida? Nice to hear from you!" he bellowed in his usually happy tone. "I'm so sorry for my absence captain, it won't happen agai-" Frida spoke, before being interrupted. "Don't worry girl, just be back before long, eh?" he reassured her. Frida thanked Redbeard before stuffing her Den Den Mushi into her purse and heading back towards her table, which now had a waitress standing at it.
"I tell you, it's such an outstanding flavor," Tabart conversed with the waitress as Frida returned to the table, welcomed by a smile from the both of them.
"Like I mentioned to the waitress, the fruit Tea is outstanding," he started, turning his attention to Frida as she sat down, "So, I would recommend getting that from here."
"You've been here before?" Frida questioned, tilting her head and lowering her eyebrows in a quizzical manner. Before Tabart could respond however, Frida was reminded of the waitresses presence, and as such recited her order. "I'll just have the ribeye, please. Oh, and a glass of wine if you may." she said, folding her menu and smiling towards the women. "And you?" she said, looking towards Tabart.
"I'll take some of that tea, of course, and I would..hmm," Tabart paused, taking a look at the menu intensely. "Wooh, it's just so many options, all delightful it seems as well. But, I can't help but to order the Fesenjoon. I'm surprised that a place outside of Alabasta actually has that," Tabart ordered. With a smile, the waitress departed from the table, moving to issue their order to the cooks.
"About your earlier question though, I haven't. I just heard someone mentioning it, and I didn't want the waitress to leave before you got back, so I stalled real heavy. I don't even know what fruit tea even is," Tabart shrugged.
Frida giggled again, covering her mouth lightly with her hand. "Well, thank you for your hospitality..." Frida said sincerely. Not too long after, the duo's main courses arrived and they both eat well as they talked and laughed all throughout their lunch. An unknown amount of time passed, and those who arrived after the two had eaten and gone by the time the both of them decided that it was probably time that they leave, lest they be kicked out for occupying a booth for the first time. During this course in time, Frida had a few glasses of wine too many, and began to show symptoms of being slightly intoxicated, as shown when she nearly tripped over herself while walking out of the door. Once the two got outside, the sky was dimming and the sunset was painted gently on the horizon, signalling the end of the day. "Shall we?" Frida asked, before walking down to street.
Tabart chuckled slightly at Frida's misstep. Over the course of the dinner, he two had eventually ditched that fruit tea, which turned out to be kind of gross, for some fine alcohol of his own. Of course, however, he managed to retain control of himself; he typically did not prefer to drink alcohol in excess. He walked besides Frida as they scurried down the street slowly, making sure that she didn't absolutely lose balance and fall. "Haha, I never would have imagined that you had a taste for wine, Bunny-san. However, I have a question to ask now, if you don't mind. With all that's happened, with all of our conversations, has that warranted enough for a name?"
Frida seemed to regain her composure for the most part, as the two walked through the silent streets that were once filled with yelling and various ambient noises. Now, the only thing that made a sound were the footprints of the two as the walked down the cobbled streets. "Hm, I suppose. My name is Fluer Frida, pleasure to meet you... again." Frida giggled lightly as the two neared the hotel once more, the lit windows having a welcoming ambiance that beckoned them inwards. "Despite everything that happened today, it was rather nice. Thank you, Tabart."
Tabart stopped in the front of the hotel door. "You know, I have to be a little honest with you, Frida. Originally, I just really needed the information about the slaves location, and that remained the purpose behind my hospitality until our meal." His voice, while stern, was shaky, indicating a hint of nervousness. "But, I can't say that it remains my purpose behind my hospitality anymore. You're really a wonderful person, Frida. I enjoyed our time together today, I really did; it's been awhile since I've had that much fun, since I've had the time to really sit down, relax, have a good meal, and chat with someone. So, I guess I owe you gratitude as well."
Frida's face turned a deep crimson almost instantly, and she looked down towards her feet. While she was rather angry at Tabart for attempting to lure the information out of her with kindness, she dismissed the feeling as her own fault for being so open; she thought rather little of herself at that moment in time, but she decided that she was having too much fun with Tabart to regret the moment. Frida was overwhelmed with emotion like she never had been before, and there was only one way she know how she could possibly come close to coping with it; she grabbed Tabart's arms and pulled him inwards with surprising strength, causing their lips to lock in a loving embrace.
Tabart flinched in surprise at first, but within a moment, once he had a grasp on Frida's intentions, he relaxed, allowing her emotions to manifest physically. When the two pulled away from one another to breathe, it revealed a devilish smirk upon Tabart's visage, one implying a confidence, and very subtly some satisfaction as well. He hadn't expected such an incident to take place, especially considering he had just learned her name only a few moments before, however, in Frida's defense, he had learned facts about her much deeper than her name during their dinner.
"Well, what was that for?"
"I-I'm so sorry, that was foolish of me. Oh, I-I really am sorry please forgive me!" Frida begged, her face now reaching a level of red that almost seemed inhuman. She instinctively brushed a strand of her hair around her ear before turning her body and beginning a stride to walk away from the man.
Tabart's eyes widened at Frida's embarrassment, another thing which, based on her strength, personality, and her appearance, was very surprising. "Wait, no, please!" Tabart exclaimed, grabbing her arm gently as she went to walk away. "Don't leave! It's not anything to be sorry about ya know. I enjoyed it a lot. The only thing that I'm actually worried about is whether or not that was your or the alcohol talking, because I'd really like that to be you, you know?" Frida stopped in her tracks as Tabart gripped her arm. She spun around and looked directly at Tabart, her eyes wide and gleaming. "I-I think it's me... yeah, it is..." Frida said in a tone reminiscent of a whisper, hushed and almost discreet.
"Then please," Tabart words materialized in a tone that infected the atmosphere with his emotions. His arms pulled Frida closer to his body. "Let's just talk about things for a little while. Can we just do that much?"
Frida's thoughts swarmed in her head. They'd just met, it'd been just over a day since they'd tried to kill eachother; although, Frida couldn't deny an inexplicable connection to Tabart that she'd simply never felt before, as cliche as it sounded. Deep down, Frida hated herself for being this open. She had a reputation to upkeep, and here she was throwing it all away for a man she'd just met. In response to Tabart's question, Frida looked up at him with starstruck eyes, and silently nodded.
"Alright then," Tabart started, looking upwards towards the street. The nearby shop's lights began to dim. "Well, I don't really know where we can go exactly.." His teeth chattered slightly, and a cool sweat dripped down his face. "Unless you want to go under the stars or something cheesy like that..."
"The hotel reservation isn't up yet, is it?" Frida inquired with a questioning tone, with a slight suggestive nature detectable in her voice.
Tabart's expression grew nervous. "Um no, it isn't, but you know um..." he failed to express. He scratched the back of husband head nervously, a trait common him that his mother claimed he inherited from his father. "Yeah, it's still reserved," he finally state as he opened the door, leading both himself and Frida inside.
Frida walked inside of the building and was greeted with its welcoming heat. The duo walked up to their room, which was now freshly cleaned after the maids went through and tidied up; Frida set down on the bed, awkwardly flattening out her shirt with her hands, her fingertips running across the smooth fabric. She played with a button on her shirt before looking up towards Tabart, a faint smile on her face.
Meeting Big Red Edit
"Alright..alright...I've heard enough." Redbeard interrupted, uninterested in hearing the tales of anyone else's sex adventures except for his own. Placing his index and middle finger on his temple, he gently rubbed the area as he decided on what to do. "Oh..my beautiful Frida...How you let another man defile you and then bring him onto Daikame is beyond me. But since it appears to me that you have taking a liking to this man, I will place my faith in your judgement and listen to what this man has to say." Redbeard responded, directing Frida to bring her new friend into the massive cathedral-like building.
Frida's face was a deep crimson and she nervously brushed a strand of her hair behind her ear before following Redbeard into the massive structure. Frida's heels clicked on the floor as Tabart followed directly beside her with his head tilted towards the dizzyingly high ceiling. "It's not some sort of castle, really. It's just because Red is so..." Frida stopped, then made a motion with her hand ascending upwards, showing his height. "Now that I mention it, that's why we ride a turtle instead of a boat aswell... well, anyways, how are you enjoying it so far?" Frida asked Tabart, beaming a smile towards him.
"Overwhelmed," Tabart quickly responded, returning Frida's own smile with one of his own. "The last time I was in such close proximity with a Giant, they tried to eat me. Quite literally. He didn't even want to cook me; just, go at me raw, like I was some sweet delicacy," he informed. The events were so ridiculous that it sounded like a joke, yet Tabart couldn't be any more serious, and his tone and face indicated such. "So, all in all? I'm enjoying my stay pretty well in comparison."