Charybdis, chapter 12: checkmate [Archive of Our Own]
Shanks x Makino // rated T // part 5 of Shanties For the Weary Voyager
The sneeze caught him unawares, the sheer force of it enough to rattle the desk, toppling the bottle of scotch perched on the edge, and only quick reflexes saved it from shattering on the planks. Although the rug might have cushioned the fall, Teach mused, righting the bottle, the contents sloshing against the glass. A damn good vintage, and still over half of it left, but then she had turned down his offer.
Her loss, obviously. Figures Red-Hair would marry someone so self-righteous.
“You’re a good match now,” he muttered with a snort. He’d sent Doc down to treat her cuts earlier, but they’d scar, alright. It really was a damn shame she hadn’t been quicker. She’d been unusually pretty.
He’d lost his temper, and he might have felt some regret that he’d compromised his own leverage, but even if the ‘well’ bit was up for debate, she was still alive, which was more than Red-Hair was counting on. It would probably work to his advantage, anyhow. Better a furious man than a broken one. The former was more likely to be desperate, and he needed Red-Hair to be that, not overconfident, and with nothing to lose.
And anyway, the scars added a certain…dramatic weight to the whole thing that made his grin stretch, thinking about it.
He really was a sucker for reunions. All the great stories had one, and the more dramatic the reveal, the sweeter the catharsis. Well – for the observer, anyway.
The reminder had him rifling through the contents of his desk for the book he’d been reading, and he was busy looking for it when the Den Den Mushi half-buried in the pile gave a sudden jerk.
He grasped for the receiver, shoving away a pile of ledgers and stray papers in the process. “Yeah?”
“Admiral,” came Lafitte’s voice, a slither of that cold amusement carrying it over the line, to fill his quarters. “We are being hailed.”
Where the hell had he put that book? A few coins tumbled over the edge at his searching, and removing one of the paperweights had one of the maps curling together, like a snake coiling in on itself. A curse slipped under his breath as he made to smooth it back out. “By who?”
There was a pause. Then, that same cool humour falling with a soft, musing hum –