! *after 6 months
! Eva just came in to her office, when someone knocked on the door. She went to open them, but before she could get to the door, the door had opened. A rather slim man with strong, muscular arms and with Elvis hair entered the room.
! »Who are you?«
»You're Eva, right?«
»I don't know you. How do you know my name?«
»It says on the door.«
»Yes, but you probably knew about me before, or else you wouldn't have come here.«
»The workers down there, at the entrance, told me to come to you.«
»I want to talke to Iceburg, but they said I must first come to you. You are his secretary, aren't you?«
»Well officially I'm a map drawer and an architect, but I'm kinda Iceburg-san's secretary too. So, yes, I am.«
»You talk a lot.«
»No need to get mean!«
»Well take me to Iceburg.«
»I can't. First you must tell me, who you are and what do you want.«
»My name is Cutty Flam, and I'm an old friend of Iceburg.«
»Ok, Cutty Flam, so you just came over to him? I'm afraid friendly talks will have to wait till the end of the day.«
»Really? I thought I could get a friend to friend chat. I just came back from a long journey.«
»We don't want our personal life to be involved with our work.«
»Is that so? Then how come I just saw you, about 15 minutes ago, how you were kissing with one of the workers?«
»Scrawny fellow, with dark curly hair, a stupid looking hat…«
»Ok, you can go to Iceburg.«
! Eva passed by Cutty Flam, opened the door and left the room. As she was on the hall she said to him: »Follow me, we're going to Iceburg.«
Cutty Flam followed her down the hall. They stopped in front of the door.
! »Wait here. I'll go in and tell him, that you have come.«
»And don't forget to tell him my full name, Cutty Flam. Not just Cutty and not just Flam.«
»Ok... you should make sure you forget what you saw.«
»Av! A threat!«
»No, a warning.«
! She knocked on the door and entered the room without waiting for Iceburg to reply to the knocking. She closed the door after she had entered the room.
! »Iceburg-san, there's a visitor for you. He's waiting in front of the office.«
»A visitor? I don't wanna see him!«
»Oh, that childish act again? I know you don't like mysterious people, but I don't know him. He wasn't in Water 7 for quite a long time, he was on a journey.«
»Oh really? How does he look like?«
»Wouldn't you rather ask after his name? He was away for some years, he surely has changed.«
»Right. Tell me his name.«
»Send him in!«
! She went to the door and opened them. Cutty Flam entered the room and closed the door, leaving Eva on the hall. She said to herself: »Strange guy. Could he be from the World Government? But he's not wearing an uniform. They wouldn't have sent an agent in disguise, if we are here?«
»Eva!« shouted a worker from the other end of the hall, »Can you come down? We need some help!«
She shouted back: »Ok, I'm coming!« She gave one last look to the door of Iceburg's office and left.
! Soon came lunch time, and the company closed, so that the workers could have some free time for their meal. Eva decided to wait for Iceburg, who still hasn't come out of his office. After waiting for some minutes, Iceburg came out of his office, but Cutty Flam was nowhere to be seen.
! »Do you need anything?«
»No, Iceburg-san. I was waiting for you. What do you say we go to a restaurant?«
»Fine with me.«
»And where's your friend?«
»Oh, he already left.«
»Thats a shame, I was thinking he could join us for lunch. Well, maybe some other time then.«
»Yes, some other time.«
! When they came to the main street with lots of bars and restaurants, Eva started looking around, when she shouted out: »Iceburg-san, this looks like a new bar! Come over, let's have a look!«
»Blueno's bar...« read Iceburg from the sign at the entrance. He squint through the window, inside the bar, where he saw many people, even some of the workers. He didn't say anything for a moment, but then he started laughing.
»What's wrong?« she asked, with a surprised voice.
»I know what you're getting at.«
»I know why you want to go in this bar!«
»I'm not getting at anything!«
»Now, now... This was the final proof that I needed to discover your secret.«
»You don't know anything!«
»You've been acting strange since the moment he came here.«
»You've got this all wrong.«
»No, I know exactly what's going on!«
»I'm done for it...«
»You want to go to Blueno's bar, because your sweetheart's there!«
»You're in love with Lucci!«
»No need to explain. Your blush tells me everything.«
»That's not a blush its sweating,« she said to herself.
»Iceburg-san <3!!!!!« shouted a slim, tall women with fair, wavy hair, when she noticed Icebur on the street.
»Hi Anna,« replied Iceburg, with a big smile.
»Who's she?« Eva whispered to Iceburg.
»I'm Anna, nice to meet you!«
»Yes, nice to meet you too. I'm Eva.«
»Eva... let me think... right, you're the ex-Marine Captain!«
»Exactly. Wait. How did you know?«
»Iceburg-san told me.«
»Oh, is that so...« she turned herself around to Iceburg and treat on his foot, »How many times have I told you, not to tell that to other people! I promised to Kuzan-sama, that this will stay a secret!«
»I'm sorry...« apologized Iceburg, when Eva moved her high heel shoe off his foot.
»Don't worry Eva-chan, I won't tell anyone.«
»Fine. It's not like I could kill you for knowing my rank.«
»You're funny Eva-chan.«
»-- Thanks for the compliment. I need something to drink,« she entered the bar and without even saying anything to her workmates, she went to the diner and ordered some beer. »Beer?« the bar owner was astonished by her order.
»Yes, Blueno, I want beer! I need to cool myself.«
! She started to drink the beer, when she felt how someone caressed her right hand. She put the beer down and looked to her right, where she saw Lucci.
! »You don't seam to be in a good mood,« he took a seat next to her.
»There are many mysteries of which we didn't know.«
»What are you talking about?«
»Look outside the bar, and tell me, do you know her?«
Lucci turned around and looked outsed on the street, where he saw Iceburg and Anna chatting.
»Never seen her before.«
»We don't know her, but she knows us. Iceburg told her a lot about us.«
»How do you know that?«
»She knows that I'm ex-Captain of the Marines, one of the things I don't want people to know. Oh, and Iceburg knows about us... about our relationship. Probably that Cutty Flam told him about us.«
»Who the hell's Cutty Flam?«
»The friend of our boss. He came to him today after he was away for some years.«
»Who is he?«
»A strange person, who probably knows a lot.«
»Interesting. I'll try to find out more about him, for Iceburg's safety.«
»Ok, just... well you know, don't be mean, he's a friend.«
! Eva looked at her glass of beer. After looking at it for some time, she smiled and gave it to Lucci and left the bar. Hattori flew from the diner after Eva, pronouncing Lucci's question:
! »Where are you going?«
»Out. And you don't need to thank me for the beer. It's a gift for my beloved Lucci.«
! When she got to the door, she smiled at Lucci and left the bar. As soon as she closed the door, Paulie went to the diner, to sit next to Lucci.
! »What did she say? Beloved Lucci? I must be hearing things.«
»Something wrong Paulie?«
»Well she thought you were a freak, because you can only talk via Hattori, and now, she calls you beloved Lucci.«
»No! I just can't believe she likes it, when a pigeon tells her: I love you.«
»How do you like it, if a pigeon tells you to shut up!«
! Hattori flew from the diner, when Paulie all out of nothing tied a rope on Lucci's right arm. As soon as Lucci let go of his glass, Paulie threw him forward, and all you could see later, was just a cloud of dust and Tileston laughing at his table:
! »I see Paulie, you're showing the new guy, how things work here. We have small fights, for our pride, so you better be ready Kaku, sooner or later you could end up as your friend.«
! Kaku didn't say anything, he was just looking a the dust between the tables, which was slowly disappearing. »I think you guys are a bit underestimating us.«
! Tileston looked up, and he couldn't believe what he saw. Lucci caught himself with his hand to avoide the attack, his fingers were dodge in the floor.
! »You just got lucky,« said Paulie, when Lucci picked himself up.
! »That's enough!« ordered Iceburg, when he entered the bar, »Now you two go to the owner, and apologize!«
! »It's ok, there's not a problem,« said Blueno from behind the diner.
»The two will come this evening to repair the damage,« said Iceburg with a friendly voice, giving Lucci and Paulie a severe look. Hattori raised one wing and said: »We'll make the floor look as it would be new.«
! In front of the bar, were Eva and Anna, who were looking through the window.
»Men... they always have to fight, to prove themselves in front of women.«
»Pualie is always the one causes trouble.«
»All of the workers are so strong! Eva-chan, are you strong too?«
»Yes. What do you say, you come to me in the evening, and we can chat in peace.«
»I would love to come to Eva-chan's home.«
»Great. Her's my address,« she gave her a piece of paper with her address written on it, »Be there at eight.«
»Ok. Oh, we are going to be such good friends!«
! Anna gave her a friendly hug.
»Friends?« said Eva to herself, when Anna hugged her. Her face seemed happy, until she looked back to the bar, where she saw Lucci, who was looking straight at her, with a cold face.
»Ok... em, I'll have to go now,« she excused herself, when she escaped Anna's hug.
! Later that day, in the evening, Eva was at home, waiting for the door bell to ring. And when it did, she ran to open the door.
! »Hi, Eva-chan!«
»Hey. Come in. I'm really sorry that we can meet at evenings, but through the day, I'm working at the company, and I don't have any time.«
»No problem. I like your living room.«
! Anna kept looking around the room, but when she noticed the photos on the wall, she ran to look at them. After looking at them for some time, she seemed annoyed.
! »Something wrong?«
»I was expecting to see a photo of you and your boy friend.«
»Lucci, well, he's...«
»How long have you know him?«
»For 7 y... 7 months.«
»Cool. So it was kinda love at the first sight.«
»Not really, more shock at the first sight.«
»What do you mean?«
»Oh, just forget it.«
Anna turned back to the photos, looking carefully at the faces on the photos: »You smile a lot on these photos.«
»What are you pointing at?«
»Well you kinda look like your serious all the time.Who's that?«
»That's Vice Admiral Kuzan.«
»So you were at his ship?«
»Are you cheating on him?«
»On this photo, it looks like you really like Kuzan.«
»What are you, crazy? Don't you know who that is?«
»Vice Admiral Kuzan, or is he?«
»Why didn't I think of this earlier? You don't know him by this name. That's Admiral Aokiji.«
»You're pulling my leg.«
»No, I'm not.«
»You don't really love Lucci, do you? You like Aokiji!«
»Oh, come on! Aokiji is my friend, and Lucci, he's something more.«
»Ok. No need to get nervous Eva-chan.«
»So now you know a lot about me, and I don't want to be the only one talking so...« she took a deep breath and it seamed as if she was struggling, »... why don't you tell me more about yourself.«
»Ok. I was born here, in Water 7, I lived with my family, but now since the last 5 years I've been living alone.«
»Yes, I'm still waiting for my Prince Charming to come.«
»Really? By looking at you and Iceburg, you could say there's something special going on.«
»Oh, no. We're just old friends.«
»Really? An old friend of Iceburg just came to the company today, maybe you now him. His name was C...« before she could finish the name, the door bell rang.
»Excuse me, I'll just go get the door. Feel like home, you can have a look around,« she said with a friendly voice and went to open the door. As she took a step out of the living room, she shouted out: »I'll be right there!«
When the doorbell stopped ringing, the only thing you could her were Eva's footsteps, that were getting closer to the door. As soon as she opened the door, Lucci took a step forward. Before she could say anything he already closed the door.
»So, how did it go?«
As soon as he started talking, she noticed that he wasn't talking via his pigeon, so she needed to act quick to sop him, before Anna could hear him. She took a step forward, moved her hands to his face and kissed him. When their lips touched, he embrace her tightly.
! Because Eva didn't return for a long time, and there were no voices to be heard, Anna decided to go check up on her, if everything is fine.
She slowly made some steps, but she stopped as soon as she entered the hall. Her face turned red, and her voice was shaking: »Eva-chan, I'm s-sorry! I didn't know... I didn't want to...«
Eva disengaged herself from Lucci's arms and said with a surprised voice: »Anna? I... I should be sorry, you're my guest.«
»But so is he. Oh, I feels so stupid. I'm sorry for being curious.«
»Don't be sorry.«
»I think it's best for me to go. Bye.«
»See you tomorrow,« Anna said and closed the door of the house, before Eva could stop her from leaving.
! »Just great! She's gone!«
»Go after her.«
»She won't come back. Thanks to you! You had to show up, didn't you?«
»Why did you come here?«
»I came to hear the information that you have gathered.«
»Well, thanks to you, the number of information is 1.«
»And that is?«
»She Iceburg's friend, she's been in Water 7 her whole life.«
»Are you joking with me? We all know that! What about the Cutty Flam guy?«
»I couldn't ask her, because you came and almost revealed your voice to her!« she turned around and went back to the living room, to take the photos out of their frames and back to the album. As soon as Hattori flew back on Lucci's shoulder, he followed her into the house. As he entered the living room, he found Eva at the table, with photos in her hands, how she was looking up at them.
»Removing your photos from the wall, doesn't make you forget about your past,« he said with a low voice. But she simply ignored him, and started placing the photos back on their places. As she was doing that her hands were shaking, and Lucci noticed that immediately.
»Put them aside!« he ordered.
»Soon it's gonna be over,« she whispered, »Soon, it'll all end.«
»What did you say?« he asked with a shocked voice.
»We'll find the maps, and as soon as they are in the hands of the government, I'm free.«
»Free? What are you planing?«
»I know you might not wanna hear this, but I'm gonna go back to the Marines.«
»What?« he shouted out, and Hattori flew off his shoulder. As the pigeon flew to the other side of the room, she turned around, looking at him with her sparkly eyes.
»I know you're mad, but try to understand that...«
»There's nothing for me to understand!« he took some steps forward.
»Listen to me.«
»You listen! You know too much about us! You can't leave... ever!« he grabbed her left arm and turned her around, so that he could see her full face.
»I can't live like this.«
»You'll die, if you oppose the government!«
»I'm already dead!«
»What happened to you?«
»I just want this to end.«
»I want the maps, so that this nightmare can end!«
»You only think of yourself. You don't care about me, do you?«
»I do, but this isn't me. I have to play the role of a friend, who's gonna destroy everything!«
Whe she shouted out those words, Lucci grabbed her left shoulder and said with an angry voice:
»You know the truth!«
She turned her eyes to her shoulder. After looking at it for some moments, she closed her eyes and nodded.
»Good,« he let go of her shoulder.
»But I don't like it...«
»Poor you... we're going back to where we were after you joined the CP9. The Marine Captain Eva is dead, there's no going back!«
»Well maybe the Agent Eva must die too!«
»Don't you understand? I want you to value your life.«
»How can you call this life?« she asked with tears in her eyes. He grabbed her hand and pulled her away from the table to the sofa, where they took a seat.
»Don't look at me like that. I'm not gonna hurt you. Tell me, what do you want?«
»I want... a family, friends... a life.«
»You already have all of this, just open your eyes! We are your family and friends, you just need to start living again. Leave the past and live!«
»It's easy for you to say, who never had anything like that!« she shouted out with an angry voice. Just as she shouted those words out, Lucci grabbed her neck and slightly squeesed it. At that point she grabbed his arm with both her hands and said:
»You know the deal. You must forget about the past, or die.«
»I... love you...«
As she said those words, Lucci relaxed his hand, and she could breath normally again. »I wanna live,« she said after some time of silence.
»I'm not leaving.«
»Even if you would want to, you can't. I hope that's clear.«
! *the next day
! Tension was everywhere in the company, because the pirates weren't too happy with their bill.
! »Like hell will we pay!« shouted the pirate captain.
»Don't argue with me,« replayed Eva with a cold voice and gave the bill to the captain.
»You think I'm afraid of you little lady?«
»You're already afraid of the bill,« she took the bill from his hand and moved it to his eyes so that he could more then clearly see the numbers. The pirates started laughing at the way the worker was treating the captain, which made the captain mad. He pulled out his sword and said: »I said I won't pay!«
»You really wan't to get hurt, do you?«
»Shut up!« the captain sliced with his sword which stopped right before her face.
»You think this scares me?«
! After some time of arguing the whole thing turns into a fight. The workers come to support Eva, so that it was an equal fight.
»Seam there are some problems here again,« said Iceburg as he came out of the company to find the source of all the noise.
»Is Eva-chan fighting too?« Anna asked with a worried voice.
»Yes. Don't worry about her, she's gonna be fine.«
»I'm gonna fight too.«
»Yeah, I'll use this,« Anna grabbed her umbrella and ran to the crowd.
As she entered the fight she instantly became the main target.
»Anna watch out!« Eva shouted out, as a pirate ran towards her with a sword. She jumped forward to protect Anna. As she did that, she got cut by the pirates sword.
»What the?« gasped the pirate when he cut Eva's left arm, tearing up her sleeve. Eva fell to the ground, cowering her arm with her right hand.
»Eva-chan, are you hurt?«
»I'm fine. Just get out of hear. It's dangerous.«
»But your arm!«
»Screw that! Go!«
Anna picked herself up and ran away, as she was ordered too. The pirate was still standing in place, when Eva picked herself up, still holding her left arm.
»T-That symbol... how?« asked the pirate with a scared voice.
»You already know too much!« she shouted out when she picked up her sword and attacked.
! Once the battle was over, and the victory for the workers was guaranteed, Anna started searching for Eva, who mysteriously disappeared shortly after the battle.
»Paulie!« she shouted out when she saw him in front of the company, »do you know where Eva-chan went to?«
»No, I don't.«
»I have to find her! She's hurt!«
»Yes, she wanted to protect me, and the pirate attacked her.«
»Things went so fast, I can't really remember everything.«
! In her office, Eva locked the door of her room and closed her window. She took off her shirt, with which she wiped off the blood off her shoulder and hands. When she finished, her shirt was full of red stains. After looking at it for some time, she wrinkled it and threw it on her desk. She started walking around in her room. She stopped in front of a mirror. She was still when she looked at her reflection. It seamed like she saw something that frightened her. As she was looking at her left arm, voices from the past appeared in her head:
»Look at it!«
! »I don't wanna live!«
! »Look at it!«
! »You can't go back!«
! »You killed my friends! How do you expect me not to feel like a traitor?«
! She moved her hand to her arm, slowly touched the tattoo on it, and said to herself: »The cursed mark…« Then suddenly someone knocked on the door. She quickly raised her head, and asked with a scared voice: »Who is it?«
A high pinched voice answered: »Don't worry it's only me. Lucci.«
She went to unlock the door. As he entered the room, she remained behind the door, so that noeone could see her. As Lucci entered the room, she quickly locked the door.
»They didn't see anything, so calm down.« he said speaking with his normal voice.
»Don't. They might hear you.«
He turned around and made a step forward, causing to squeeze Eva to the door. He moved his lips to her ear and whispered: »Then I'll whisper.«
»Ok... em...« she started feeling a bit uncomfortable and her voice was shaking, »Mind letting me go get some bandages?«
He had whispered once more into her ear, before he moved to her table: »Of course.«
As he took a sit on her chair, she opened her commode and took out the bandages. Lucci picked up her shirt and started to observe the blood stains on it.
»You killed him. Am I right?«
»It seams our conversation yesterday really helped.«
She ignored that sentence and gave Lucci the bandages.
»Mindy helping me?«
He didn't say anything, he just moved his hand to her shoulder and wiped off some of the remaining blood.