Sorry I had to re-post this chapter as I added one last thing in it. It concerns Kaya's feelings as well as a shadowing of Arlong.
It was a regular day in Buggy’s Circus of Flowers. There were no customers or movement since the shop opened at seven in the morning, and the day was close to midday. Even the plants and the old walls made of wood seemed bored. The shop's appearance didn't help for call customers either. It was a short block, whose floor and shelfs were pretty crowded of dust. It had only two window panes and its exterior look was ugly and decadent.
The shop’s owner, Buggy, remained in the balcony reading the newspaper, doing nothing special. The only living action in the shop was Usopp, who was arranging a case with flower pots. Suddenly, the case began to shake, and a few seconds later it fell into pieces destroying all the pots that were there.
Buggy turned to the mess, “Usopp, you idiot! Look what are you doing to my inventory!”
“I’m sorry Mr. Buggy, I didn’t mean it!” said Usopp, while his leg shook in fear, almost wetting in his pants.
“Well, go get the broom and clean up this thing!” ordered Buggy.
Usopp nodded his head and rushed to the storage room. Buggy returned to his newspaper. Then, the main door opened. It was Kaya, another employee of the shop.
“Good morning, guys!” said Kaya.
“Kaya! Is that hours of arrive at your work?” yelled Buggy.
“I’m sorry Mr. Buggy, I was trapped… literally.” Kaya bowed her face. Buggy looked at her face and noticed a bruise near her eyes.
“Kaya… was that your violent boyfriend again?” asked Buggy.
“Please, ignore it.”
“I know it’s none of my business, but I don’t want to lose my only employees.” said Buggy.
Usopp came back, bringing a broom with him, “I got the broom, Mr. Buggy! I’m going to…” he then tripped in a piece of broken pot and fell, making the broom broke in two. Buggy put his hand on the face in shame. Usopp rose and saw Kaya looking at him.
“Are you alright, Usopp?” she asked.
“I-I’m fine, nothing to worry about!” said Usopp. He then noticed her bruise in the eye and asked, “Did you get hurt again?”
“My life is a mess… I’ve lousy employees, a failed shop, dead plants! I haven’t even money to have a flashy dinner! Nothing seems to work with me!” moaned Buggy.
“Don’t worry, Mr. Buggy, I’m sure your business is going to become better…” said Kaya.
“No, no, no! That’s it! Don’t bother coming in tomorrow!”
Usopp and Kaya stared at Buggy. “You don’t mean…”
“YES! I’m going to close this place for real!” yelled Buggy.
“You can’t do that to us! This is the only job I have found!” said Kaya.
“Whatever. The place is closed. End of story.” said Buggy.
Usopp really didn’t mind of change his job. However, he was a lot worried about Kaya. He looked at her with very pain. He could even notice the tiny tears appearing in her eyes. In that moment, he remembered something that could solve that problem, and so he said bravely: “Don’t worry, Kaya! I know how to save Mr. Buggy’s business!”
Kaya looked at Usopp, “Really?”
“Come on, you can’t even walk without destroy something.” grouched Buggy, “What kind of heroic idea would be coming from a head of yours?”
“Well, I… have a plant, and she looks so exotic that could bring attention to some pedestrians!” said Usopp.
“You are lying. And I don’t need more plants!” said Buggy.
“Don’t be so pessimistic, Mr. Buggy! Did you know that people get wealthy and famous by exhibiting exotic plants? There are even world-wide contests to these plants!”
Buggy raised his eyebrow. He now sounded very curious. “Are you serious?”
“Yes! Think about Mr. Buggy’s Circus of Flowers becoming a title known in the whole world!”
“That sounds a flashy idea. You can try Usopp, but if it fails, I swear I’m going to pulverize flashily!”
“O-okay! I won’t disappoint you! Now wait here!”
That being said, Usopp left the shop hurriedly and ran to his house. Buggy and Kaya remained in the shop, looking at each other. Kaya was cheerful, but Buggy felt angered and ready to smash the face of someone.
Some time later, Usopp arrived with a plant in his hands. The plant indeed had an odd look, but for Buggy it was far than that. It looked like a Venus Flytrap, but unlike the others that Buggy had have seen this one wore a small Straw Hat and had a stitch in her top. Even stranger, the plant seemed that was smiling.
“What the heck is that?” commented Buggy, after a while of silent stare.
“Well, I tried to find this in one of my encyclopedias, but I think it never had been registered before.” said Usopp.
“I don’t doubt it. Look how this thing is freaking weird!” said Buggy.
“Does it have a name?” asked Kaya.
“Hmm, I named it… Kaya II.” said Usopp, blushing, “I expected to homage you, Kaya.”
Kaya giggled, “Aww, that’s cute!”
“Yeah, whatever.” said Buggy, looking disgusted, “So, what’s the plan?”
Usopp approached the window pane and put the plant there.
“That is stupid.” complained Buggy, “You don’t think people will notice this thing all of a sudden, do…”
Suddenly, the main door opened. A man wearing businessman suit entered. Buggy’s chin fell.
“Excuse me, but I couldn’t avoid looking this freak plant!” said the man.
“Welcome sir, may we help you?” said Kaya, gently.
“Yeah, I would like to know more about it.” the man stepped to look at Kaya II closer, “What is it name?”
“It’s a Kaya II.”
“I never have seen something like this before...”
“No one has…” said Buggy cynically, in quiet voice.
“Where did you get that?” asked the man.
“Well, remember that eclipse that happened last week? I was walking in the street that day, and I passed by this mysterious weird woman. She is known to sell bizarre things to pedestrians, so I went to her to see if I could find something unusual, but she hadn’t any that day. I decided to go back home, when then the sky went all black, and I heard a strange sound… The sky returned to normal, and when I turned back, I saw this plant with the mysterious woman. I bought it and I planned to show to my boss, Mr. Buggy.”
Buggy and the man at Usopp in disbelief, but Kaya looked amazed with that story.
“Hmm, well, I didn’t get what you said, and I’m sure most of your story is a pile of lie.” said the man.
“Hey, it’s true!” said Usopp.
“Anyway, as I’m here, I want to buy some flowers. I’ll give 200 berries.”
Buggy’s eyes bulged in surprise. Usopp and Kaya stared at the man, disbelieved.
“200 berries?” said Usopp.
“200 berries?” repeated Kaya.
“200 BERRIES!” shouted Buggy.
“Can you break 100 berries?” asked the man.
“Oh… no.” said Buggy.
“Okay then. I’ll take twice as many.” said the man.
“Twice as many?” asked Usopp.
“Twice as many!” said Buggy, “Kaya, get the flowers to this man!”
“Alright!” Kaya stepped to the storage room, when the main door opened again. Two girls had entered.
“Hi, we came to see that weird plant in your window.” said one of the girls.
It was going to be a busy afternoon in Buggy’s Circus of Flowers that day.
“I can’t believe we got 6500 Berries today!” said Buggy, staring at the amount of money inside the cash register. It was seven of night when the flow of customers had stopped. Usopp cleaned the place as Kaya looked around happily with the work they had had.
“This is certainly a special moment!” she said.
“Well, why don’t celebrate with a dinner tonight?” suggested Usopp.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I have a date.” said Kaya.
“With that barbarian?” said Buggy.
“He’s just a bit tempered, Mr. Buggy. But he has a good job. Besides… he’s the only person I have got.” Kaya stepped to the door and turned to Usopp, “Good night, Usopp. Enjoy the dinner.”
“Good night, Kaya.”
And so, Kaya left to the dark cold night. Usopp turned to Buggy, who seemed a bit disappointed. “Can we go now?”
Buggy glared at Usopp, “You aren’t going anywhere! You will stay here and take care of that plant! By the way, she needs some water. Look how she is dead.”
Buggy was right. The leaves of Kaya II were brown and looked quite dead.
“Well, I don’t know what to give this plant.” said Usopp, “I have watered her, put her in the sun and feed her with mineral supplements, but none of this seem to work!”
“I don’t care what works, just nurse this plant back to health if you do care with your job!” said Buggy, “Good night!”
Buggy slammed the door and went out. Usopp felt unhappy. His idea might have worked, but the day how the day ended wasn’t that great.
“Man, you are a very stubborn plant.” said Usopp to Kaya II, “What do you really need, huh? I don’t know what else I can do for you.”
Usopp took a pot holding a couple of roses and moved to the storage room, but in the moment he was arriving in the door he shrieked in pain and let the pot fell. Usopp looked at his hand. Blood came out from a small red spot in his finger.
“Damn roses and their thorns!” grouched Usopp.
Suddenly, Usopp heard a strange sound behind him. He turned back slowly, afraid that some burglar invaded the shop and would come to kill him, but for his surprise he saw Kaya II opening and closing her entrance repeatedly, like if she wanted to devour something.
“What?” Usopp turned to Kaya II and approached her. The plant now made force to come closer him, especially of his wounded finger. Usopp rose his finger to her, and incredibly he saw a human-looking like tongue coming off and trying to lick the finger.
“Blood!?” Usopp was terribly disturbed, “Do you WANT blood?”
Strangely, Kaya II nodded, like it understood what Usopp said.
“Okay… maybe a few drops.” Usopp put his finger over Kaya II and began to squeeze it. Blood fell in Kaya II, which licked all the drops with many pleasure. Usopp looked at it with disgust, but if it was for the good of the plant – and Kaya – he needed to do it.
“That’s it. No more other or I’ll get anemia.” Usopp pulled out his finger and rushed to the make a dressing. Kaya II seemed really satisfied.
It was almost midnight when Kaya left her ‘date’. She had a big bruise in the neck and in the left cheek, but she preferred to hide them from the pedestrians in the street. She was happy knowing about Usopp had saved the florist shop, but one side of her cried for she still be in a hideous relationship with a violent-tempered man, or better a fish-man.
Dr. Arlong was the most famous dentist of the city. As a fish-man, he was an expert to identify and resolve any toothy problem. However, for being well-known and mostly of all a fish-man, Arlong was an arrogant pompous who delighted to humiliate his human patients. He said human teeth were inferiors because they didn’t born like fish. Arlong believed pain was reasonable to reach a better status, and therefore realized his surgeons with many cruelty and coldness. Many hated to be treated by Arlong, but as he was the best of the area they decided to remain quiet and endure the torture.
Kaya met him a few years ago, when she used to work in a club located in the other side of the city. It wasn’t a job that she felt proud, so she tried to hide it from Buggy and Usopp as far she could. She liked him at first because of his job and strength, but after a couple of dates she regretted. But now then it was too late.
Kaya had arrived in the building where she lived. She was about to enter when someone called her in the street. Kaya turned to whoever was and saw a beggar that usually hanged out there, almost every hour of the day and of the night
“Girl, hey girl.” said the beggar with his hoarse voice, “Isn’t the trouble that you are in hazardous to your health?”
“I know that.” said Kaya, embarrassed, “But I can’t leave him.”
“He could get angry, and then…” Kaya sobbed, "Imagine what kind of things he could do with me if he found about that."
“So get a guy who can protect you.” suggested the homeless man, “What about that boy with big nose in the place where do you work?”
“Wow, you know many things about me!” said Kaya.
“Well, I’m always here and I see things.”
“Well, I don’t think Usopp deserves a low woman like me. He is a nice and decent guy… But thanks for the help.” Kaya opened the door and vanished from the beggar’s sight. But despite what she said to the man, Kaya did indeed feel things about Usopp. She had even dreams that wanted to fulfill along with him.
“Geez, what a complex of inferiority!” grouched the beggar to himself.