Title: Vivi's Boyfriend
Summary: Igaram does not approve of Vivi's new beau. I can't reveal the pairing without spoiling the ending, but let me assure you: it is crack. It is ridiculous crack. It doesn't even pretend to make sense. It's actually the result of me completely misinterpreting a scene in one of runic_binary's fics. Ye be fairly warned.
Vivi took a sip of her coffee, and then delicately placed the cup down on the saucer. Her face split open in a wide, friendly smile.
"Oh, come on, Igaram. He's a little odd, but he's not that bad."
Igaram harrumphed loudly, which told her what he thought of that. "He is a disgrace, princess! An obnoxious barbarian, not worthy of your attentions. I will not have him sullying this palace's halls with his antics!"
Vivi continued to smile, but it was tainted by a small flash of annoyance. Igaram did not approve of her new boyfriend, and he never wasted an opportunity to let her know. Her boyfriend's work kept him abroad much of the time, so it usually wasn't much of an issue, but right now he had a week off, and was spending it with her.
Igaram, of course, was having fits over this, and this was the third rant Vivi had had to endure on the subject. Vivi was not known for her temper, but her patience was beginning to wear thin. "Igaram," she said, but he ignored her and continued.
"He's a loud, useless, over-dramatic boor, and his mannerisms betray his low birth. He is not a fitting consort for the princess of Alabasta!"
"Igaram," she repeated through gritted teeth. He continued, seemingly oblivious to her.
"He eats like a pig, his hair gets in everything, and what's worse, he takes up enough space for three men! And that not even touching the subject of his profession-"
"Igaram!" she barked, and this time he paid attention. He turned and blinked at her twice, as if just now realizing that she was speaking.
Vivi extended one finger, pointing right between Igaram's eyes. "I know you don't like him," she said, "but regardless of how you feel, I'm not going to change my mind about him. He is my guest here at the palace, and as my Captain of the Guard you will show him the respect he deserves. That is an order, Captain Igaram."
Igaram fumed silently at her. For a moment it seemed he would snap at her. He might, for example, point out that Nefertari Cobra was still very much alive and well, and as such he was not her Captain of the Guard, nor was he, technically speaking, bound to obey her orders.
Then the door creaked open, and Vivi's boyfriend stepped into the room. He actually had to duck his head in order to get through the doorway.
Vivi and Igaram broke off their standoff as Vivi moved to embrace the newcomer in a brief hug. "Good morning," she said. "Do you want some coffee?" He nodded, and she turned to Igaram. "You, Igaram?"
"No thank you, Princess."
Vivi nodded. "I'll be right back, then. Play nice," she said playfully as she walked away, but she shot Igaram a meaningful glance as she did so.
Igaram harrumphed loudly and then took a seat, crossing his arms and glaring at Vivi's boyfriend, who sat down opposite him. If a glare could ever be declared a lethal weapon, it was Igaram's. It took five seconds of glaring, maximum, to make the target feel vaguely guilty, even if they hadn't actually done anything.
After a minute or so of enduring Igaram's visual assault, and desperate to break the horrifically awkward silence, Vivi's boyfriend tried his hand at small talk.
"YOI YOIIII," he began. "HOWWWWW ABOUT THOSE LOOOOCAL SPORTS TEEEEEEAMS!?"
Title: Job Interview
Summary: Iceburg interviews a new worker for his shipyard, only to discover that it's a familiar face. Again.
Iceburg was hunting through his files when his secretary called into the office.
"Mister Iceburg?" she said through the two-way Den Den Mushi that connected her desk to his.
"Mister Okapi is here for his interview, sir."
"Ah," Iceburg said. "Send him right in, please."
"Right away, sir."
Iceburg smiled as he continued to sift through his files, now looking for the folder marked 'Resumes'. He liked Charadri. She had all the qualities of a good secretary: she was punctual, thorough, neat, and most importantly, she wasn't a government assassin. At least, he was pretty sure she wasn't a government assassin. He had, after all, been mistaken about that in the past.
The door creaked open behind him, and someone stepped through. Without turning from his filing cabinet, Iceburg gestured for the man to enter. "Come, take a seat," he said. "I'm just finding your resume in here."
A chair was pulled out and Iceburg heard it settle as Mister Okapi sat down in it. Iceburg finally found what he was looking for and turned around, quickly reviewing the paper as he did.
"I had a look over your resume, Mister Okapi, and I must confess that I am impressed with your work record. I haven't had a chance yet to call the references you provided, but assuming they check out-"
He stopped in mid-sentence as he looked away from the page, and got his first good look at Mister Okapi. He hesitated for a moment, then sighed and sat down behind his desk, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Is something wrong, sir?" Okapi asked, and Iceburg shook his head in disgust.
"Yes, 'Mister Okapi', there is something wrong. Namely, that your name is not 'Mister Okapi' at all. Why do you keep doing this, Kaku?"
Kaku shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "I'm not sure I understand what you mean," he said, trying desperately to regain his shattered cover, but that just made Iceburg sigh again.
"You're not fooling anyone, Kaku. I know that it's you. Why do you bother? This is the third time this month I've caught you trying to sneak back onto my staff. Why?"
Kaku shifted again. He seemed almost like a child being lectured by his school principal. "I...I don't really have anywhere left to go, with the CP9 disbanded. And I really, really miss working on ships, so..."
Iceburg steepled his fingers thoughtfully as Kaku trailed off. The man looked so pathetic that he almost considered taking him back out of pity. He had been a very good shipwright, after all...but no. He couldn't give Kaku his old position. The betrayal of trust had been too deep.
There was one other thing he could do, though. He pulled a piece of Galley-La letterhead from his drawer, and began writing on it. Kaku craned his neck to try and read what Iceburg was writing. The pen was flying across the page, but Kaku managed to pick out the phrases 'excellent service record', 'unfortunate circumstances' and 'unlikely to repeat'.
After signing his name with a flourish, Iceburg folded it into an envelope and handed it over the desk. "This is a letter of recommendation," he said. "Go give this to Foreman Rosette over at Dockwise Shipyards, on Mandragora Island. They aren't Galley-La," he warned, "but with this letter, they'll probably take you."
Kaku took the letter in hand, staring at it in a manner that could almost be described as reverently. "Iceburg, I..."
"Don't mention it," Iceburg said. "Now, get going. I have work to do."
And never darken my doorway again, he added mentally.
Cross-posted to one_piece, onepiece_fics