The Sands of Fate and Heartstrings

BY : Roronoa_93
Category: +M to R > One Piece
Dragon prints: 488
Disclaimer: I do not own one piece. The characters belong to Eichiiro Oda, their original creator. I make no profit from this.

Logue Town: East Blue…

It was an event that most seemed to anticipate. It was almost time for the Pirate King, Gold Roger’s, execution. For Crocodile it was a passing curiosity as she made her way to more pressing matters, things of somewhat more importance to her. Unfortunately, the miracle worker was a harder person to find than previously anticipated, and the subject of the pirate king’s beheading was too interesting for her to pass up. With time to kill she stood amongst the crowd before the platform.

At 22 it was harder to hide her gender; Crocodile’s chest was now too full for binding and her swaying hips too shapely to disguise. She kept her deep purple hair swept back, it didn’t touch her shoulders, it framed her pixie like face. Her dark eyes were sharp. Her lips were full and uncoloured.

Crocodile’s dress sense was chic. She wore a black shirt tucked into tight fitting trousers that, although covered her entirely, left her with a womanly air that could not be hidden even under the cravat and waist coat she wore. Over it all she wore a floor length dark fur coat. A shiny hook adorned where her left hand should’ve been.

It was time. The crowd below the platform screamed and booed. Some even cheered. Crocodile remained as stoic as ever as the marines brought out the pirate king. It confused her that he was smiling as the readied him. He even chuckled to himself.

It was his final words that reverberated through the courtyard that brought a great excitement to her, and you could see it in her face. With her eyes bright with the promise of future adventures she almost smiled.

From across the courtyard that’s how Doflamingo saw her. Tall, dark, and gorgeous. She was maybe just under 8ft tall and every inch of her was lean. He felt his mouth begin to water. There was a light in her eyes that didn’t die as the crowds began to thin. The woman began to walk away from the courtyard, Doffy decided to follow her.

He trailed her through streets and back alleys until she reached a bar in some corner of the town. It quite surprising that she hadn’t noticed him. He was bordering on 10ft tall and was wearing a giant pink fluffball of a feather coat that was hard to miss. Chuckling to himself he went into the bar and sat in some dark corner to watch her. She was sat at the bar, drinking hard liquor from the looks of things too. A woman after his own heart. As he watched her a snivelling man went up to her and whispered something vulgar in her ear. The woman smashed the empty glass she’d just finished into his face, hooked his neck and slammed his face, glass shards and all, into the wood of the bar. Multiple. Times.

Ouch, Doflamingo winced at the thought of her doing the same to him when he tried something similar. Which he still planned to do. Maybe when she calmed down from the first guys attempt.

The bar patrons left the sorry excuse for a pirate on the floor like the garbage he was. When it Doffy felt it was time, he made his way over to the delectable woman at the bar.

Crocodile nursed another whiskey. The guy still moaning in pain on the ground had spoiled her evening. Was it too much to ask for a quiet drink with no interruptions? She brought the glass to her lips and knocked it back. The smooth heat of it warmed her throat as it made its way down.

She almost groaned when she felt another presence beside her. Not even waiting for this one to whisper vulgarities into her ear she lashed out to slash at him with her hook.

He grabbed her arm and laughed.

She knew that laugh.

“Fufufu, I didn’t even get the chance to whisper sweet nothings in your ear like the poor sod down there,” Doflamingo remarked, “At least give me a chance first” he feigned a pout.

At her silence he took it as a green light to continue, he took the seat next to her.

“I could start with cheesy pick-up lines, or I could buy you a drink, your choice” Doffy grinned

It was a grin that hadn’t changed in 7 years. Sure, his shades were fancier, more ornate and a different colour than they had been. And what was he wearing? The pink feather coat made him look like an oversized flamingo. His fashion sense was in a word, disastrous. As it always had been. The goggles he sported on his forehead as well as the shades on his face tipped the scale further into Disasterville.

“I’ll need a drink” Crocodile sighed, scratch her earlier statement. THIS man was the one to soil her evening.

Doffy ordered 2 whiskeys and got started with introducing himself and chatting her up. Not that he was any good at it, the lines were overused, cheesy, and damn right cringeworthy. But she let him, not because she liked it, but because there was an internal struggle waging inside about whether she should fillet him for what he did 7 years ago, or since he didn’t recognise her, trick him into something that caused him just as much turmoil.

“So, what should I call you?” Doffy asked, bringing her out of her musings,

“Elle.” Crocodile answered a little too quickly, “Croquette D. Elle”

No recognition flashed on his face, no nothing. He didn’t recognise her as the teen he once knew as Crocodile in the slightest.  After all, the Crocodile he knew was a man, because she hadn’t corrected him when he referred to her as one. Croquette D. Elle was a woman. A gorgeous woman that he wanted to get to know better. He wanted to get to know her a whole lot. Especially physically.

“Fufufu, Elle” His voice saying her name, as if testing it on his tongue like a fine wine, almost made her shiver in revulsion. At least she hoped that’s what it was.

His voice was deeper that before but with the same nuances. It still cracked occasionally which reminded her that he was still only 17. 5 years younger and towered over her near 8ft frame by another 2ft at the very least. It was rare she felt small outside the company of actual giants. That wasn’t very often at all.

He was speaking more, she wasn’t really listening, but she assumed it was more god awful pick up lines. Where did he get these? Who told him that if one didn’t work to use the whole list? She looked over at him when she realised he’d gone quiet.

“You say something?” Crocodile asked, unabashed to reveal she had in fact not being paying attention to him.

He just laughed his laugh and tried again,

“Fufufu, I said, do you want another drink?” he picked up his own empty glass as if to reiterate the question.

Crocodile looked at her empty glass, thought back to how many she’d had already, and declined. She stood up from the stool and began to make her way out.

“Hey, wait!” Doffy called after her

She didn’t look back as she left. She was pretty sure he didn’t catch up or follow her, although she still circled around a while before returning to the hotel she was staying in.

*

The following morning, Crocodile was woken up by a knock on her door.

She checked the time. Any time before ever is too early to be disturbed, especially before 10 when she’d been drinking. It was too early for room service. She got up, putting her shirt and trousers back on. She slept in the nude. Her hair still mussed and sleep still heavy in her eyes she answered the door begrudgingly. They had kept on knocking.

“What the hell do you want?” she growled as she opened the door.

Doflamingo was on the other side. A Doflamingo with a bouquet of desert flowers and an attempt at a smoulder on his face. Crocodile Glared.

When Elle opened the door Doflamingo felt a wave of unknown emotion. Her hair was no longer swept back and fell about her face making it even more exotic. Her clothes were haphazardly put on and the shirt wasn’t buttoned up to the top, so he could see down it. She wore no underwear. Her feet were bare.

Doffy wasn’t sure if he could speak without drooling.

“Well?” Anger flashed in her eyes, anger and annoyance. She kept looking at the flowers.

Doflamingo too a deep breath, he could do this!

“These are for you,” He motioned the flowers towards her, “They reminded me of you” He was relieved his voice didn’t crack.

She stared at the flowers in his hand, then up at him.

“And you had to give them to me at practically the break of dawn why?”

He paused. He hadn’t really thought of the why of it. He just wanted to, and he usually just did what he wanted to.

“Fufufu, I just did, that a problem?”

She made a sound of exasperation and snatched the flowers from him. The door was almost slammed in his face, but something stopped it. It wasn’t his foot. Then she remembered his strings. She muttered profanities under her breath.

“Hey, I’m not finished with you yet Elle-chan” Doffy opened the door and bid himself entry into her room,

“Yeah, well, I’m done with you, you overgrown flamingo”

He threw his head back and laughed, “I think I like you. Let me take you out”

“No”

He let her push him out and slam the door in his face. He chuckled as he walked down the corridor. It wouldn’t be long before she was in the palm of his hand, both literally and figuratively.

Back in her room Crocodile stared at the flowers she still held and the door she’d just slammed in Doffy’s face.

What the hell?

*

Over the course of a few days Crocodile stayed in Logue town, the ship she had sailed in on had left in search of the One Piece, leaving her sort of stranded until she found another ship. She tried, with some failure, to avoid Doffy wherever she went. The man was relentless. She wondered how he kept on finding her but came to a blank. He would visit her room, even when she moved hotels, he’d find her in the street, in bars, at one point he found her when she’d actually tried to hide. That one hurt her pride since He’d found her behind a dumpster in an alley way.

“Why are you being so persistent?” Crocodile huffed as Doffy found her again. They were at another bar, fancier this time. The lighting was good, and the drinks were expensive. It didn’t stop Doffy from buying her the most expensive things they had.

“You remind me of someone I had a crush on once” He sounded thoughtful, “I was a kid at the time, so I didn’t notice it, but looking back I really liked ‘em”

Crocodile spluttered on her drink. Doffy laughed and continued his little story,

“Thinking back, they were a guy, skinny and older than me, and didn’t really look like you, but I can’t help but be reminded of them when I look at you,” he paused to drink, “Not that you look anything like a man, you’re about as voluptuous as they can get” he leaned on the bar with his head on his fist and looked her up and down.

Crocodile was still reeling. Was he talking about her? Her emotions didn’t show on her face thankfully, it was the picture of disinterest. She felt something snap inside as she realised he was getting to her, and she wouldn’t mind it happening. She didn’t like it.

“Let me take you out” Doffy asked again, for about the zillionth time.

“We’re already out”

“Fufufu, you know that’s not what I mean” He said

“Fine.” She heard herself say, “I’ll let you take me out. Once. If you’ll stop being so damn persistent.”

“Fufufu, why would I stop? It got me this far”

Crocodile felt that is his grin got any wider is face would split in two. Good. Maybe it would get rid of him. She frowned at his statement, but she wouldn’t go back on accepting. It was like he’d challenged her to a game and she wasn’t about to back down and admit defeat.

He told her to meet him at some swanky restaurant the following evening and walked her back to her hotel. Or rather, wouldn’t leave her alone until she was in her room and able to shut him out.

She went to sleep that night thinking of Doffy, and not in a way she was comfortable with.

The morning arrived too soon. The day passed without Doffy showing his face, and she felt strange to say it felt odd to go about town without him hounding her. There was a package waiting for her at the hotel desk when she returned later that afternoon that was signed from Doffy, “For our date tonight” it read. She dreaded to think, but still took it to her room to open it.

Inside were clothes. Expensive clothes. Crocodile pulled out a long flowing dress, the neck line was low, and the leg slit probably started at her waist or something. It was tastefully black, which she was thankful for. There were matching shoes and jewellery. And underwear she hoped would never see the light of day. It was a full bodice, undergarments, and stockings.  She didn’t want to think about how Doflamingo knew her sizes.

Almost every item of clothing in that box were things she’d never worn in her life. And for some unknown reason she felt like she had to wear them. Like her pride was riding on it. She struggled putting them all on, she had no idea how to properly tie or fasten anything but somehow managed to get into everything one handed without looking too dishevelled. She caught herself in the mirror and almost didn’t recognise herself. The dress was form fitting, and the shoes added a few more inches of height to her already Amazonian size. The jewel that glistened in the necklace was the same pink of Doflamingo’s feather coat. It was the only colour in her outfit. It made her feel like she was owned by him, but at the same time this thought both comforted her and made her extremely uncomfortable.

She really was letting him get to her.

Was it her own old feelings for him that were resurfacing through the betrayal? He was her first friend whether he left her to die or not. Sometimes it was hard to remind yourself about the bad things when it felt more normal just get along. Shaking the thoughts from her head she took the necklace off and replaced it with a small leather choker made from crocodile leather. It made her feel more at ease.

When the time came, she put on minimal make up and left with her fur coat closed so her dress was hidden. She felt wrong to be wearing it, but she wasn’t going to let herself lose this challenge. Doflamingo was already there when she arrived.

He watched her walk up the street. It occurred to him that she’d worn everything he’d sent as he spied her walking in the heels from his package. He grinned as she came closer and he could see the fabric of the dress from under her coat as she walked. There was no doubt in his mind that he had her hook, line, and sinker. He chuckled to himself as he looked to her hook.

He had also dressed up for the occasion. Under his pink eye sore of a coat he wore a deep red suit, a black shirt, and a tie. He felt like a member of the mafia, and he looked good too. He saw the look on Elle’s face when she came up to him, she thought so too.

“You clean up pretty good for a flamingo.” She stated as they were seated.

Doffy chuckled, he didn’t trust his voice just yet. The moment her coat left her shoulders his eyes hadn’t known where to look. Sure, he’d bought the clothing, but he never anticipated just how much they’d work against him. He shifted in his seat as he began to feel like his trousers were a little too tight.

If anything, when she wore the suits and shirts and cravats they made her enticing. In that dress? Every head in that restaurant was turned to her, men and women alike. Some even drooled.

They ordered and doffy felt he could trust his voice again.

“Y’know, I almost expected you to ignore the clothes I sent”

“They were a nice gift, it would have been rude not to”

“And you’ve been nothing but polite to me since we met in that bar last week,” Doffy laughed and the sour expression on Elle’s face, “Fufufu, I’d hate to see you when you’re actually being rude to someone then”

“Count your stars that I’m being nice.” She said through gritted teeth, she would get through this night and leave the island on a random boat tomorrow.

They continued light conversation through their meal, mostly Doffy joking about something, and crocodile pretending to enjoy it. By desert she didn’t have to pretend.

“So, how’d you get the hook?” Doffy asked offhandedly as he ate his ice-cream.

Crocodiles spoon clattered in her bowl as she choked at the question. It was unexpected. She stopped choking and looked to her hook before looking at his ever-grinning face.

“Just like anyone else gets a hook. My hand was cut off, I got a hook” She hoped he didn’t pry further.

He began to reach across the table, before she knew what to do about it he held her hook as though it were her hand and brought it closer to him.

“Wha...?” Crocodile didn’t even finish the question before it was answered. Doffy brought her hooked wrist to his lips and kissed the skin just below it. Crocodile blushed, it was a romantic gesture she was in no way prepared for. She tried to snatch her arm back but Doffy held it in place, his long fingers encircling her arm and keeping her half leaning across the table.

“Give me my arm back, ya dumb flamingo!” Crocodile half shouted, she didn’t like the warm fluttery feeling she was getting in her stomach as he began to make circles on her forearm with his thumb.

“Where’d be the fun in that?” Doffy chuckled, noticing he was affecting her in much the same way looking at her was affecting him,

“There’s going to be a lot less fun if you don’t stop it and give me my arm back” She growled.

He didn’t. Instead he let his lips brush against the skin just under her hook while his hand kept her from moving away, his thumb still tracing circles on her arm.

She was definitely not okay with how her body warmed and melted to his touch. Scared of her own growing feelings she kicked him under the table and grabbed her arm back. He hissed in pain from where her heel had dug into his leg.

“I think it’s time for me to leave.” Crocodile rushed out of the chair, “Don’t bug me again, you’ve had your dumb date.”

He watched her swaying hips as she stormed away and grabbed her coat.

Like he wasn’t going to bug her again? This was just getting started. He paid the bill and strolled out, not even limping from where her heel had half stabbed his leg. He looked up the street where he knew she had gone and planned how to get her to submit to him.



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