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31 May 2007 @ 06:37 pm
One Piece Fic: Meeting in Mariejoie  
The sky is falling and the horsemen of the apocalypse are buying their last round at the bar. I wrote het (okay, PG het, but still-) and most of the action is situated in a rose arbour. And nobody gets injured. End of days or what?

Response to a challenge by hakucho_cygnus who asked for some Mihawk het and mentioned Kalifa in the following sentence. And thus the plot bunny of the apocalypse was born. The scary thing is, I'm not even the only one, runic_binary spawned ficcage on this pairing as well. There are now TWO Mihawk/Kalifa fics in existence. Be afraid, be very afraid...


Title: Meeting in Mariejoie (though if someone could come up with a better title...)
Rating: PG
Pairing: A blossoming MihawkxKalifa
Warning: Some spoilers for Water 7 and Enies Lobby arcs.



Disclaimer: Don't own the characters, who belong to the creator and distributors of One Piece.



NOTE for Lucci fans out there: This is Mihawk's POV, and it's not entirely flattering to our favorite big cat Zoan, but you know I adore him, right? Even if that is a stupid, insane thing to do :P



Meeting in Mariejoie

---


The irritating thing about Mariejoie was the overcrowding. Thousands of little grey men running around with their little grey concerns. Politicians and Marines fighting it out on paper. Puffed-up little cockerel-captains, trying to pick fights with anyone carrying a sword. Bureaucrats constantly underfoot. And to cap it all off, an assassin in the rose arbor where Mihawk, as a last resort, had gone to find a little solitude.

"Rob Lucci." Mihawk didn't bother to nod. "I haven't seen you in five years. Nobody has. There were rumors, among the few who know you even exist, that you were dead."

Lucci, as out of place in a rose garden as that pigeon was on his shoulder, looked up, raked Mihawk with a single glance and looked away. Mihawk paid no heed to the less than subtle hint and studied the other man.

"You've changed," he finally concluded. "You're somewhat stronger."

"You've changed," said Lucci, still staring straight ahead. "You're somewhat older."

"It's unusual to see you hanging around a garden rather than a back alley somewhere." Mihawk glanced around at the roses, their trellises like a tiger's cage "You must be here to assassinate the aphids."

Lucci didn't even deign to sneer. He'd always made it clear that in his book - which lacked a chapter on matters such as Compromise - all Shichibukai should have been executed for their past crimes long ago, rather than pardoned and put on the payroll. The government's rationale was 'set a thief to catch a thief'; Lucci's was, 'hang them both and be done with it'.

Mihawk didn't mind that. Neither did he mind Lucci's attitude. Mihawk had been told he had quite a lot of attitude himself. And he certainly didn't mind that Lucci was a cold-blooded killer. There was nothing wrong with being a cold-blooded killer, as long as one made every effort to be as good at it as possible, and Lucci certainly did that.

It had to be said: there were superficial similarities between the two of them. Some brainless little official had even japed that Mihawk and Lucci might have been separated at birth (the double barreled look that had earned him had sent the insect fleeing out of the room). Mihawk was also a taker of life who saw no need to apologize for it. They were both driven men, excelling at their chosen path.

But the difference was crucial. Mihawk was a lone wolf who'd voluntarily freed himself from all ties bar an alliance of mere convenience to pursue his goal, and Lucci was a government dog chained to an ideal. When they'd met seven years ago, there had been a brief moment of mutual measure in which Mihawk had thought he might have found someone interesting enough to cut down...But the next minute a weak non-entity in a mask had ordered Lucci to back off because the World Government couldn't afford any infighting, and Lucci had obeyed.

The non-entity in a mask had then tried to schmooze up to the powerful Shichibukai. Mihawk had explained why he had no intention of talking to either of them anymore, not being much interested in government mutts. Mihawk's own book lacked a chapter on Diplomacy; he said it as he saw it. The non-entity had given him a venomous look and later tried to politically back-stab him with the admiralty. Lucci had merely smiled. Coldly. Thoughtfully. The expression suggested that if there were the smallest loophole in Lucci's orders that would allow him to slip the leash and take Mihawk down, he would find it. But until then, Mihawk was nothing. Mihawk, in turn, failed to care. Lucci certainly had strength, but he lacked something, some intangible. Fire, for a better word. He possessed an almost frightening amount of drive, but no passion, no zest. Cipher Pol 9. The World Government's hounds and its dirty little secret. All the same, as rigid and monochromatic as their dress code.

"I heard you had a recent run-in with the Straw Hats," Mihawk said, conversationally dropping that into the silence locking down the rose garden.

The silence grew fangs. Mihawk was only looking for information, but he should have realized this subject would be a bit painful to Lucci. Not that Mihawk gave a damn. He doubted a little provocation would make Lucci snap and violate his standing orders to leave Mihawk alone, but if it did, the result was bound to be interesting, and if it did not, then trying to get that little muscle in Lucci's jaw to twitch was a way of passing the time.

"I heard the pirates walked right through Enies Lobby and out the other side. The Grand Line is rife with rumor. But a bit poor on facts. For instance, which one of you fought Roronoa Zoro?"

"Why do you ask?"

"Idle curiosity," said Mihawk, who'd sailed five hundred nautical miles to Mariejoie for more details when he'd heard that the Demon of the East Blue had defeated 'one of the strongest' members of CP9. The admiralty had been very pleased that he'd shown up so early for the Shichibukai meeting they'd convened to address the Straw Hat menace. Mihawk hadn't even heard about the meeting until he'd docked this morning, but he couldn't be bothered to disillusion them. Since he was here, he might as well wait a few days and see if any of the other Shichibukai had had any further contact with the Straw Hat crew. The downside to this decision was that he had to put up with Mariejoie and its denizens in the meantime.

He'd not expected to find CP9 in residence. The secret agency was notoriously hard to pin down. But since they were here...maybe he'd get to meet and evaluate one of them in particular.

A crunch of footsteps in the ornamental gravel interrupted them before Lucci could tell Mihawk to go take a long walk off of Mariejoie's shortest pier. Both men turned towards the nearest arch of roses. The woman who'd walked into the arbor was concealing an expression of surprise and curiosity behind a mask of cool reserve. That and her clothing made it clear which outfit she belonged to. The way she filled her black suit was considerably more interesting than Lucci's, but they were cut of the same dark categorical cloth.

The ice-blue eyes behind the glasses rested fleetingly on Lucci, looking for a cue, for orders, and Mihawk followed through as instinctively as a fencer's flèche followed a weakness in the opponent's garde.

"I apologize, it appears I am intruding. You should have told me you were meeting your lady here, Lucci. How was I to ever guess you had a romantic fiber in your body."

Lucci, who wouldn't fundamentally care he had a very pretty coworker or that he'd planned to meet her in a rose garden, gave Mihawk a look that could only be described as evil-

But the attack materialized from an entirely unexpected direction.

Mihawk contemplated the long, well-sculpted leg that had tried to decapitate him. He'd had time to move his head aside, but she'd nearly scored on the brim of his hat, and from the speed, precision and power of the blow, it would have been fatal to the felt.

"My lady?" he said politely, turning to look her in the face. There were other areas for the eyes to rest upon, especially since her leg was still up from the kick, but Mihawk was more interested in the spirit of someone who'd tried to knock his head off rather than the generous physical attributes.

She put the leg down and leveled the twin barrels of an icy blue gaze at him. "Wrong again."

"In what way?" Mihawk asked, ignoring what sounded suspiciously like a scoff of feline amusement from Lucci.

"I am not his lady and I am most certainly not yours," he was tartly informed. "Those antiquated possessives are insulting. You are an outdated chauvinistic archetype."

"And what should I call you, then?" Mihawk asked and realized he was actually curious to hear the answer. Maybe even a trifle bemused. He'd never been called an outdated chauvinistic archetype before. And that had been quite the spin kick.

"Agent," she snapped, pushing up her glasses.

"Yes, I gathered that much, but tell me, my lady agent-"

"You-"

"- do you have a name to go with that?"

"Kalifa."

Unfortunately it was Lucci who'd provided that, and it wasn't meant as an introduction. The lady walked right past Mihawk, her head held high, honeysuckle hair following her movement like the flick of a cat's tail as she stopped near her coworker. They were ignoring him, yet there was a small but exquisite difference between what should have been rigidly uniform behavior: Lucci was ignoring Mihawk because the latter held no interest to him, while the lady was ignoring him because she knew this was probably the most insulting thing one could do to a Shichibukai. Inwardly, Mihawk smiled, just a little bit.

"We won't be able to talk here." Lucci's tone implied the rose arbor was full of reprobates and potential traitors. "Let's find Kaku and Blueno and reconvene in my suite."

"They're probably on their way over."

"I'll see if I can intercept them at the citadel, you look around the gardens. Find them, meet me in my room in half an hour."

"Yes sir."

Yes sir. Those two words, tidy and grey and oddly disappointing, doused Mihawk's inner smile. Ah well, at least he'd have the rose garden to himself for a while...

The pigeon took flight in a clap of wings and Lucci disappeared in the direction of the main fortifications with those faster-than-the-eye-can-follow steps. Mihawk watched him leave without much interest. Lucci's colleague marched around the bend, high-heeled shoes crunching in the gravel and then...there followed the sound of someone turning around and walking straight back.

"I might as well wait for them here," she announced as she reentered the arbor, "since this is where they'll show up. You can remove yourself."

"And why should I do that?" Mihawk asked, taking the opportunity to look at her properly now that Lucci was no longer hanging around like a death sentence around a guillotine.

She put her hands on her hips and straightened. En garde, thought Mihawk idly.

"Do you have a reason to stay here?"

"Yes. You're more interesting to talk to than Lucci." He was starting to see her now as a swordsman saw the world, in patterns of motion and the stillness in between. He'd thought she was another CP9 dog, but now he was far from sure. They'd not quite gotten to her yet, he thought, not entirely. There was something they'd not tamed beneath the leash. His intuition stirred...Maybe she'd kept that spark of fire beneath the ice because she had more than an ideal of justice and a desire to kill. Maybe she had something to prove, something to fight for; a goal for which she'd battle the world and her own limitations. Mihawk didn't know what that goal was, but he was curious to find out. It must be as hard as diamonds if it could resist the pressure her profession put on it.

She wasn't about to tell him what drove her, of course. Not at this point. She'd come back because he'd offended her and she'd decided that no, she was not going to forget it and come to heel like a good dog. At her level, she would not have missed the differences in their strengths, but there were ways of attacking and winning an encounter without lifting a finger and he had the feeling she knew them all. To start with, she obviously knew how to use her body, though that wasn't much of a weapon against him. Mihawk had seen beautiful bodies before. He'd seen them cut open and laid out like slabs of meat, and that certainly taught a man that flesh was fleeting. It was what was inside the flesh that endured, sometimes beyond the threshold where death should have separated the two.

"I have no interest in talking with you," Kalifa stated. "As far as I'm concerned, you're barely more than a criminal."

Mihawk nodded. "That is only fair. Is there anything I can do to prove myself in your eyes? Beyond granting you my absence. I'm going to sound churlish, but I have no intention of walking out on what might well become the first interesting conversation I've had in-" how many months since an island full of boozing pirates...? "-in quite a long time."

She'd not noted the brief hesitation. "You should have better things to do than chat. Why don't you go hunt some pirates? That is what our government has charged you Shichibukai to do, isn't it?"

"And would that please you?"

That disconcerted her, but she covered it expertly. "It'd be your job. Go do it."

"I'm afraid I don't have a job, my lady. I have a long-time obligation, a thing I search for, and a sword. The World Government gives me some latitude to fulfill these things. Beyond that, our interests don't coincide much."

The panes of her glasses glinted with something like grim satisfaction. "That talk could be considered treason."

"No, that's pretty much the arrangement all the Shichibukai have with the World Government, and it's acknowledged by both parties. They turned us into hunters, not hypocrites. I do have to give them that."

"Lucci is right. Hanging is too good for the lot of you."

"In view of some of my 'colleagues', you'd be surprised how much I agree with you. So, tell me, these pirates, how many shall I kill?"

To her credit, she didn't even blink. "As many as you can."

"And then? Should I bring you their heads?"

"Are you mocking me?" she asked sharply, but with underlying anticipation. Oh, she was quite ready for a fight.

"Far from it, I am taking you extremely seriously. What should I do with the pirates you've asked me to kill? Or did you just want a tally?"

"I didn't ask-...Hunting pirates is your standing order."

"And your wish, it seems."

"What possible difference can that make?"

Mihawk felt a trace of melancholy. Mariejoie was such a dull place, it was hard to believe it was sitting smack dab on the Grand Line. The prosaic ruled here, the paper and the pen mightier than the sword. "Your wish, my lady. If I may call you that. You see-"

"You most certainly may not."

"- I would rather kill a man by a woman's wish than for any order."

"What are you-" then she backed off as if sensing a trap. Mihawk watched her regroup, felt himself watched astutely in turn. The first passe had ended without a clear hit, the second one was about to start. A little inner voice - that sounded like someone annoying he'd been drinking with a few months ago - tried to remind Mihawk that he was 'talking to a girl, not fencing!' But Mihawk didn't believe that.

One long leg idly swung, scraping the dagger of her heel into the gravel in a gesture that was too calculated to be coy, before she put her foot down at the exact angle that most flattered her figure, and considering the job nature had already done there, that took some doing. Mihawk looked once, since he was obviously expected to and it would be rude and quite unnatural not to, then he went back to watching her face, the hearth where the fire burned. The way she used her body matched the power behind her kicks; she had mastered her weapon fully, de coup et d'estoc. But he had the feeling she would despise any man who fell for this kind of blow, even as she struck it. The hint of an ambiguity there piqued his curiosity further.

When she spoke, she'd obviously decided to get to the heart of what had brought her back here. "Earlier, when I took a swing at you, you merely dodged. You didn't strike back."

"No."

"Are you another fool who thinks women are too weak, delicate and precious to fight?"

Mihawk had a few adjectives lining up in his mind to describe his new acquaintance. Weak hadn't been one of them. Neither was delicate, on the balance of things. Precious was still up for debate, though probably not with the meaning her scorn had given it. "No, it had more to do with your lack of sword."

She tilted her head. "So if a woman had a sword, you'd fight her?"

"I'd fight a swordswoman, yes."

She opened her mouth- then did a double-take, her eyes narrowed. She'd caught the change in wording, and she was actually treating it like it was significant. Well, that was a first...Did she really understand his nuance between a woman wielding a sword, and a sword wielded by someone who happened to be a woman? In Mihawk's vocabulary and in his world, these differences were clear-cut, but he was usually the only one who seemed to think so. Ah, then again, if there was one person who would understand the difference in this particular instance, it'd be a woman like that.

It seemed that Mihawk had finally earned something. Not an answer to his questions, but something almost as valuable: a reassessment. He was still an outdated chauvinistic archetype, probably, but she'd seen something beyond that, and it seemed to intrigue her as well.

She relaxed her shoulders and crossed her arms, a gesture that dismissed her figure in the way he'd once holstered a dagger when he'd realized it was unworthy of his adversary. The smile that followed was loaded, but without seduction or guile. The effect was breathtaking. The fact that the fiery tension increased tenfold only heightened it. She was...really remarkably striking.

"If you had a sword, would you attack me?" Mihawk asked, surprising himself with the question.

"I might."

"You'd die."

"I might."

"But you'd still try." It wasn't a question, and she answered with a lovely ripple of her shoulders.

"I might."

Mihawk couldn't help but smile a little. He'd been told by someone who didn't mince words (especially when drunk) that he had the most unnerving smile this side of Raftel, but this lady, Kalifa, didn't seem to mind. He was glad he'd wandered into the rose arbor today. Mihawk's path was already cut out for him; a man - or possibly a woman - waited for him at the ultimate end. But he didn't dismiss the intriguing people he met on the way, they taught him something, and sometimes it turned out they were the way...which was why he put up with a grinning, one-armed pain in the backside whenever he ran into him. That, and the pain in the backside in question had undeniably good taste in liquor, for all he drank with the appreciation of a ditch drain. Mihawk didn't drink like that, he preferred to enjoy a single glass of good wine rather than sink down the whole bottle, and he was wondering if Kalifa was the same.

"Hey Kalif-...ah."

Mihawk favored the interruption with a cool look. The intruder's moment of surprise and uncertainty had been instantly and expertly hidden, though this time the mask was mild-mannered rather than glacial. But still a mask. Another one of CP9's dogs in a dark suit.

"Shichibukai," said the man with a polite nod that put no warmth in the watchful expression behind the facade. "Ah, Kalifa, where-"

"Meeting in Lucci's room in twenty minutes," his colleague answered without looking away from Mihawk.

"Really? Let's get there early then," the man suggested and moved. From the speed of what followed, Mihawk thought this might be the CP9 agent he'd been hoping to hear about, the one who'd fought Zoro. If this was the case, the little frog had come quite a long way from his pond already, though not far enough yet. Not yet.

Kalifa had been swept ten feet from her previous position and was a stride away from the arbor's exit before she had the time to react and dig her heels in. "Kaku?! What are you doing? Let go of my arm!"

"Of course," said the man without doing so, even gently tugging at her elbow as if she might not notice he was nudging her out of the garden if he did it discreetly enough. "Shall we leave? Head towards the meeting?"

"There's time before it starts and I was having a conversation."

"I know, I could feel it all the way over by the tulips and I think it was damaging the blooms. Let's not upset the gardeners."

"That would be his fault," Kalifa informed the intruder with an arch look back at Mihawk. "He said I was Lucci's woman."

"And you have my most heartfelt apologies for it," Mihawk said softly.

The man had made a noise halfway between a hysterical snigger and a snort. "See? He's very, very sorry so let's go now, no point arguing with people who have such discombobulated ideas, especially when they're one of the seven-"

"We were not arguing. In fact, we were coming to quite an understanding."

"Oh?"

"Kaku, you brought all your things with you to Mariejoie, right? Lend me one of your swords."

The man did a sort of full-body twitch and then he picked up his colleague and bundled her out of the garden bodily, something which she would make him pay for dearly as soon as she got her footing again if Mihawk was not mistaken. But by the time she was done with that, she'd have to go to her meeting. She would not disobey orders, she had too much discipline and too much to prove. As for Mihawk, his search would lead him elsewhere soon, following a purpose that possessed him and devoured others. But maybe...

The thought occurred to him that maybe, between one's set of orders and another's driven quest, there was a little leeway...an intriguing notion.

He absently picked up one of the roses that had been knocked off the branch by the earlier whirl of movement, and tucked it into his sword belt. Even placed in a cup of water, it would only last a few days, and he would be leaving Mariejoie by the time it faded, but in the meantime his opinion of the place had been raised a little by a sudden smile.



---



Mihawk was twenty minutes early. It was discourteous to make a woman wait, and in Kalifa's case it might even be dangerous.

The night was scented with brine and the smell of old rocks cooling from their day in the sun. The sky was clear and the wind from the east. It would be good sailing when he left tomorrow, at least while he was in this island's climate zone. After that, it'd be up to the Grand Line.

The breeze carried the sound of footsteps to him: the martial click of long heels, remarkably familiar to Mihawk after four days of listening out for them, and a set of other, softer steps as well. And voices, arguing. They were coming along the southern stretch of wall. Mihawk had been known to sail halfway around the world to track down an enemy, confirm a hunch or assuage boredom, so it wasn't much of a stretch to take two steps into the shadow of a crenelation, put his back to the bricks of the guard outpost and candidly listen in to what was bound to be an interesting conversation.

"I'm just saying, chatting with him in the hallway outside a conference room is one thing, and acceptable-"

"I should hope it's 'acceptable'. We do work for the same administration," said Kalifa rather caustically.

"In Mihawk's case, 'work' is a rather malleable concept, but okay-"

"Now you're just being unpleasant, Kaku. What on earth is your problem with Mihawk?" The double click-click as Kalifa came to a halt brought an image to Mihawk's mind; her stance, feet a little apart, head and shoulders back, the knock-out effect of her figure unfurled like a battle flag, eyes glinting behind the glasses with an echo of the fire within.

That pose would render most men incapable of speech, much less argument, but her colleague must have acquired some immunity because he answered without a pause or quaver: "My problem with Mihawk? Let me see. He's a Shichibukai with a dubious allegiance to us at best, he dresses funny, he's killed considerably more people than I have without half as good a reason and Lucci dislikes him intensely."

"I would say that is Lucci's problem, not mine," Kalifa answered without missing a beat. Mihawk's lips twitched into an involuntary smile that was almost warm rather than entirely creepy; fortunately he was hidden in the shadows of the wall.

"You respect and obey Lucci's every word," Kaku pointed out in a tone that suggested Mihawk's evil influence was already at work.

"In the field, yes. God knows he expects it, doesn't he. This is quite different, however. I doubt he'll care. As for Mihawk's sense of dress..."

"Hey, don't give me that look. I like tracksuits. They may not be stylish but they're a good deal more convenient than a cape and a feathery hat."

"I don't have the time to argue with that, though I probably should. Look, you handle Lucci if he worries you that much, and I will handle Mihawk."

"Handle- oh right! I get the easy job."

"You're the one sticking your nose into what isn't really your business," Kalifa pointed out, not unkindly. "I don't see what else you were hoping for by following me here. Were you going to come with us? Pour the wine? Hold the candles?"

"...There's going to be wine and candles?"

"I believe your room is that way."

Mihawk heard four dragging footsteps heading back towards the stairs down from the rampart, and then they stopped and came back: "Kal, look, this can only end badly."

"Isn't that in our job description?"

"What is?"

"'It can only end badly'? We almost died on Enies Lobby, and we could die during our next mission. This does not bother me. Never has, never will. I know what we're fighting and dying for. But I wouldn't mind living a little first, or at the least have a conversation with someone who has something other than assassination on the brain or his eyes on my chest. Now, I have a question for you."

"Yes?"

"Why are you so worried about this? We may be at duty's beck and call, but nobody has ever suggested we can't have a private life. Granted, not much of one, what with our job, but it's certainly not forbidden. Are you afraid Mihawk will overcome my fragile feminine senses with his manly charm and compromise my loyalties?"

"What?! I never said-"

"No, you didn't say that, but you don't seem anywhere near as concerned with any of Jyabura's flings, either."

There was a pregnant pause. Then, softly, "No. I guess I'm not. I apologize if that's the impression I gave you, that's not the issue at all. I know you've got a lot of common sense, and a good deal too much ambition to let yourself get distracted."

"Why thank you," said Kalifa with a clear laugh that should be heard more often.

"I'm just worried. Jyabura's crushes may be embarrassing, but they're completely harmless, that's why they don't worry me. You're my teammate, and this guy is highly dangerous."

"So are we all. Good night, Kaku."

Mihawk judged that this was his cue to 'arrive', rounding the bend and walking through the guard post where it rejoined the rampart where they were standing. Both agents looked around as he approached them. Kalifa was dressed conservatively by her standards: skirt mid-thigh, the black blouse loose and more suggestive than revealing, and she was wearing jewelry; nothing ostentatious but the small bangles on her wrists would announce any kind of martial move like a set of chimes. In short, it wasn't what she'd wear to work, and Mihawk appreciated the import. He'd taken his sword with him but he was carrying it wrapped in his cloak, and it would end up propped against a wall if they found a corner that was quiet enough.

Kalifa turned towards him with that cool smile of hers and the flicker of fire beneath it. Behind her back, Kaku shot Mihawk a look in the universal language of big brothers everywhere. 'Lay one disrespectful finger on her and I'll hunt you down to the ends of the earth to rip it off.' He didn't try to hide it behind the assassin's mask of indifference, either. Mihawk decided he didn't dislike this young man after all. CP9 in general had risen in his esteem along with Mariejoie. One vicious apple shouldn't be seen as spoiling the whole barrel.

Duty performed and Mihawk duly cautioned, Kaku stuffed his hands in his pockets and turned away. "Well, have a good evening, Kalifa, and I'll go - humph! - handle Lucci. Thanks a lot by the way." The grumble faded as he headed back towards the stairs.

"So, where shall we go?" Kalifa asked.

"I'd say, up there."

"An interesting choice of venues for a glass of wine," said Kalifa, eyeing the highest tower of Mariejoie.

"It doesn't have stairs to the outside of the cupola, which makes it a place where only a dozen people on this island can actually climb or jump to, and we're two of them. The other choice is a restaurant."

"Too crowded. Too noisy." Too full of people gawking at the pair of them, as if they'd never seen a man and a woman having a conversation before. "The tower is fine, as long as you've brought the wine and a couple of glasses. That's the problem with Mariejoie, isn't it: way too overcrowded."

"Yes, but to its credit, one does make the most unexpected encounters. I think," said Mihawk, because he was leaving tomorrow but would not make a promise he might not be able to keep, "I think I'll try to come here more often from now on."

"Really? I was thinking something along the same lines."

With that settled, they made their way to the tower.



End



I had the week from hell, I do not know WHERE I got the time to write this - and it's probably rife with typos and nonsensical sentences, didn't have too much time to reread, spot and check plz - but man I had fun writing this ^____^ I hope you enjoyed! Reviews, crits or weird glances in my direction are all welcome. I hope I didn't botch my first het in any way.

 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks ^__^ I don't think I'll make a habit of het, but this particular fic was fun. Kalifa is definitely her own woman ^__^
Ann Sulaiman: O RLY?hakucho_cygnus on June 1st, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
*applauds*

Satan, thy name is Hakucho. >:9

Well done! I loved this - the terminology you've used, Mihawk's statement that he'd fight for a woman (making him more out to be the 'outdated, chivalrous type', indeed), Kalifa's asking Kaku if she could use his swords - it all made this such an enjoyable read with interesting portrayals of the characters. And the fact that it begins in a rose arbour - chivalry isn't exactly dead. ;3


Now let's sit back, and check out who else picks up the Mihawk het challenge >:3 (And damn; this is your first het fic with CP9? I honestly wouldn't have noticed, unless you pointed it out like you did.)
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
'this is your first het fic with CP9?'

No, this is my first het fic EVER (with the het pairing being central to the fic, that is; I've written in secondary/tertiary het pairings) :P What can I say, the whole concept of Mihawk/Kalifa kidnapped my inspiration. Glad you liked it!
Ann Sulaimanhakucho_cygnus on June 3rd, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
Glad you made it! :D

*rubs hands together evilly*
Leone: Lucci/Kakurunic_binary on June 1st, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
...have I told you lately that I love you? Well, I'm sure I have, but boy, do I. How do you make everything awesome?

Lucci and Mihawk subtly hating each other was perfect. Mihawk's conversation with Kalifa was beautiful with gasoline poured on and a match hovering nearby, and Kaku forcibly removing Kalifa from the situation was terribly amusing. Also Kaku playing big brother was too sweet-- he's totally the type to do that, now that I think about it. And of course the reasons he dislikes Mihawk (I have a feeling the last is the most important ~_^) and...oh man. Kaku in defense of the tracksuit. I cracked up. This whole thing was entirely too plausible and you are my hero. *goes away before she starts to sound really creepy* ♥
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
Aww thanks ^__^ I imagine that putting Mihawk and Lucci together would be like putting two tigers in a very small cage. And Kaku completely wrote himself into the fic without my permission, as he usually does ^^; Glad you liked it!
key_revolution on June 1st, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
Before I read the story (I keep getting distracted by news of funimation getting rights to one piece) where be this sasori_katana ficcage of which you speak?
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 1st, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
key_revolution on June 1st, 2007 03:33 am (UTC)
Thank you. And as to the story...

It doesn't portray Mihawk exactly like I would imagine him, but it's close enough and your Kalifa, Kaku, Lucci and SHANKS overpower any misgiving I could possibly have.

"A little inner voice - that sounded like someone annoying he'd been drinking with a few months ago - tried to remind Mihawk that he was 'talking to a girl, not fencing!'."

So much love and win and... another piece of awesomeness. Yet again. T_T You put me to shame.

<3
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
I wish I could write more Shanks! He deserves ficcage by the tonne, but I can't seem to pin down a story line with him *sigh* Glad you liked it ^_^ This is the first time I've written Mihawk, I had to feel my way around his characterisation, but Lucci and Kaku have moved into my brain it seems ^^;
(Anonymous) on June 1st, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
from jeina
Oh babe, your kalifa is so perfect that she made me *purr*.

I love how you made her so demonically skilled at utilizing all of her...best assets. Mihawk and her banter/arguement is smooth too, nice flow. I like how he responds quickly to every move she makes. "She put her hands on her hips and straightened. En garde, thought Mihawk idly." and that once over he gave her because he felt like it was only polite to? priceless.

Even better how everyone plays off of each other. Kaku was a bit childish and pushy this time around. Zoro...Marimo...Frog *teehee* He's always gonna get a green joke. And Mihawk constantly refering to the offkilter and strangely accurate advice from Shanks - wow,bff.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
Re: from jeina
The Zoro/frog thing actually came from the Viz manga; I'm not sure it was in the original Japanese, but it amused me so I kept it.

From what we've seen, Kalifa is adept at utilizing all the gifts mother nature gave her, which includes one hell of a figure and a kick like cannon fire :P Go girl! Glad you liked ^__^
Tabulator of Titmouse Tempersdethorats on June 1st, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
First of all, mentions of Shanks! Yay! I love Mihawk's exasperated bonds to the Red-Hair crew and this captured that very well. Second, really enjoyed Kalifa. She was prickly in all the right ways and her conversation with Kaku at the end was very telling and felt very IC. The swordswoman line worked quite well in illustrating that Mihawk is a swordsman first and foremost. Any worthy opponent is a worthy opponent, regardless of who or what that opponenet happens to be.

That line about Mihawk's smile not being creepy but being unseen by anyone else made me grin like an idiot. Lovely work!
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks ^__^ I really wish I could write more Mihawk+Shanks, god knows that whole set-up tickles me, but I can't seem to generate ficcage on it *sigh* I'm glad the swordwoman thing came across as I intended!
hinas_otakuhinas_otaku on June 1st, 2007 10:24 am (UTC)
I don't think there are many people who could have made me like this pairing. In my mind Kalifa is a lesbian, I mean come on, that fight with Nami... But you got it just right: the conversations between Kalifa and Mihawk are a joy to read. And much, much love for big brother!Kaku! ^___^ Also, "I like tracksuits." is about the best line anyone has ever written for him.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
I usually imagine Kalifa in yuri too, but the Mihawk/Kalifa challenge kidnapped my brain and did strange things to it :P The dialogue between the two of them almost wrote itself, it was like watching a fencing match in my head. And poor Kaku trying to be brotherly and protective when Kalifa obviously doesn't need it ^___^ Glad you liked it!
jena13jena13 on June 1st, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
I love this line so very very much:
The silence grew fangs.

Awesome, ya. :)
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks ^__^ This being Lucci, any silence around him would be armed and dangerous...
popcorn_oracle: vikingZoropopcorn_oracle on June 2nd, 2007 05:52 am (UTC)
o_o, wow you've never written het? I'm not sure why that surprises me, since all I really read is yaoi, but still it's strangely shocking, maybe cause your writing is so awesome I oddly expect that you've written all kinds of things. ::shrug::.
Kalifa... and Mihawk, omg, I never would've thought of that, and it somehow works. I think I pretty much would've skipped over it entirely if anyone else had written it but I totally enjoyed this <3. The characterization of Mihawk at first was surprising, since I... dunno, I always saw him a bit more... detached maybe, but it's true, he just does some stuff out of boredom and on whims. Really surprising, but perfect characterization for him^^;. Kalifa was awesome, and it was interesting how you sort of built up simularities between them in opinions.
Also Kalifa being all like "Kaku let me borrow one of your swords" and big-brother Kaku were all terribly cute.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
I've written het in secondary pairings, especially strong women (mentally or physically or both), but no, I've only ever written yaoi until now. I was surprised too ^__^

Glad you enjoyed it! Kalifa and Mihawk fit in like natural foils. I found Mihawk's character hard to pin down, he's seen so little and then he's usually thinking about Zoro :P I started writing him colder and more unemotional, but that made it hard to hook him up with anybody other than Zoro so he relaxed a little and showed some of the spirit in which he sailed across the Grand Line to play with Krieg some more ^__^
Aisu the Spotted Rataisushi on June 2nd, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
Woe
I read het. I read HET. First time you wrote it, first time I read it. T_T The lengths I go to read your fics...

Haha, anyway, Shanks, yay! Little frog - double yay! And Mihawk's unnervingly creepy smile wins! Okay, I'll stop abusing exclamation points.

From this corner, rest assured that you didn't "botch" your first het in any way. ♥
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 2nd, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Woe
I know, it was a shock to me as well ;)

Glad to know that worked ^_^ Next stop, Harlequin Romances and I'll finally get rich from my writing! *is shot*
Occasional Renaissanceregonym on June 4th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
Hee! I lurved this quite a bit, and I think that despite the awesomeness of the Mihawk-Kalifa interaction, my favorite bit's still the one-sided Lucci conversation at the beginning. I keep going back and reading "The silence grew fangs." and snerking at the mental image it gives me.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on June 4th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, Lucci and Mihawk were trying to steal the scene at the start, but I managed to cut them short :P It must be my yaoi tendencies showing. But once I got started on the Mihawk/Kalifa, I really enjoyed it ^_^ Glad you liked it!
inklingobscura: Fire Mouseinklingobscura on June 7th, 2007 02:22 am (UTC)
Delurking
Het?! I finally get a LJ account and post a comment and it's on a het fic?
I've been reading your stories for over a year, and loved them all, but I don't comment nearly often enough.
You made me like Mihawk in this fic! This is the first story I've read with a believable Mihawk POV. You have a real talent for fleshing out characters. Your Kaku has utterly spoiled me for other writers, too.
Thanks for all the great stories!
Clio Simetra: seal of approvalclioheika on August 25th, 2007 09:26 am (UTC)
*foams at the mouth* I’ve been reading some of your stuff for a while now and I can honestly say that I’m glad I checked you out (wording = horrible. I apologize. *_*) But mwah! Your writing is beautiful and so horribly funny I can't express it in words! :]

Totally in-character. You gave them all such lovely (and slightly violent) voices~! ^.^


[*memory*]
Maldorormaldoror_gw on September 19th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
Lol, thanks ^__^ For some reason, whatever I write always turns out slightly violent (or out-and-out murderous)...I should have a psychiatrist vaccum out the corners of my psyche, but I have much too much fun with it as it is :P
incandescensincandescens on August 27th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
That's brilliant. It just feels so _possible_ for both of them, and Lucci and Kaku's bits are also marvellous.

(I am a recent CP9 convert.)
anyjenanyjen on September 6th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
Nice one. I must confess that I was having my doubts about reading this at first, but they perished as soon as Kalifa and Mihawk started to interact. Awesome ficcie. It was beautiful, in the same way a well-sharpened sword is beautiful. :3