It has been hard to be apart from you after you've gone and given me something to latch onto. I would say something along the lines of, 'You don't know how much that kiss means to me,' but I think you do know. In fact, I’d be willing to put all of my money on. And, if I'm being honest with both of us, I enjoy that. You've never been kind or merciful, but I really do love that about you. I love that about you, just how I love all of you.
God, I miss you so much. I miss you too much. It's making the urge to drink grow even stronger, but I resist the temptation. Barely, but I do. However I cannot deny that I've taken up smoking. The heat of the cigarettes reminds me of your lips, which I miss so dearly. But while I greatly enjoy their warmth on my lips and in my mouth, they can do nothing to replicate your heat. Nothing can, I don’t think. But it’s for that reason that I’ve been able to give up on alcohol. I find that now, after having tasted you, I can’t bear the bitterness of liquor nor stand the way my thoughts of you grow fuzzy.
I know what you’ll say to yourself when you read this. You’ll say that I’m being over dramatic and that I’m simply exaggerating my emotions. You’ll say that to yourself and to anyone who possibly reads this letter over your shoulder. You’ll say it, yes, but you can never convince yourself of it. I know you, Buggy, and I know you’ll never be able to doubt what you know is true.
But, on a lighter note, I’ve taken up poetry like you suggested. Of course, all of my poems are about you, though I’m afraid I don’t do you much justice. Every attempt I make ends up on a crumpled, scribble-covered paper that I throw away. But I promise that once I get one that’s at least half as good as you, I’ll send it to you.
-With eternal love, Shanks’
Buggy snorts and rolls his eyes before tossing the paper down onto the deck before him. He shakes his head as he laughs boisterously at the letter and leans back in his desk chair. “What a fool,” He says under his breath, but just as Shanks’ letter states, he knows he’s trying to lie to himself. But was it not working because it was already the truth, or because Shanks’ words are taking effect...? Fuck, does that matter?
Either way, damn that Red Hair for making Buggy think about this!
Buggy mumbles a sharp, “Fucking Shanks,” as he seriously considers using the lit candle on his desk and letting the paper turn into smoke and ashes. His hand twitches and he nearly reaches for the handle of the metal chamberstick candle holder. Nearly, but he doesn’t. Simply because he wants material that he could use to taunt and tease the powerful yonko with. That’s all.
That’s not all. Dammit.
Red-painted lips pull into a snarl and Buggy slams his detached fist down on the table. “Goddamn, I hate that man!” He growls with a glare. His fierce gaze is turned upon the letter, and he knows, once again, that his words are false and that he will never be able to convince himself otherwise. Never, never, never. Why the hell does Shanks always have to be right? Is it some
“Captain Buggy? Is everything okay?” Cabaji asks from near Buggy’s door. He’d been the one to bring Buggy the letter, so Buggy had him stay in the room in case it was something important he needed to respond to. After all, he’s a shichibukai now, and he has to be responsible for a lot more than he used to be. The acrobat looks concerned for his captain, his eyebrows pulling together and his lips twitching downwards at the corners,
Buggy takes a deep breath to calm himself as he reattaches his hand to his wrist. Still, the veins in his temple throb against his skin in agitation and irritation. “Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m just peachy.” He snaps, his short temper showing through quite blindingly. He heavily sets his elbows on his desk as he puts his head in his hands, threading his fingers through his messily-pulled-back hair. He lets out a heavy breath through clenched teeth before looking up at Cabaji. Not wanting to upset his first mate, he gives him a tight-lipped smile and a subtle nod. “It’s just shichibukai business. Nothing fun, but I gotta do it. It’s nothing to worry about. Thank you, Cabaji. You’re good to leave now, I can handle this.”
There’s a pause as Cabaji’s expression grows more pinched and nervous. He distractedly taps his fingers against the hilt of his sword as he says, “Captain, are… Are you sure? It’s just that it was delivered by one of the Red Haired Pirates. It was their first mate himself. Benn Beckman, I think it was.” Cabaji’s voice is quiet, trying not to put any more weight on his captain’s shoulder or stress in his mind.
Of course. Of fucking course. Why wouldn’t Shanks send one of his crew’s core members just to give Buggy a stupid fucking love letter? Why wouldn’t he?
A hissed, tired sigh falls from Buggy’s lips as he leans back in his chain, his hands detaching from his wrists to remain frustratedly furrowed in his hair as he crosses his arms across his chest. He turns his head to look at his first mate with a tired look. “Okay, you caught me. It’s another one of Shanks’ damn love letters.”
Cabaji’s expression relaxes into an understanding grin that has just the faintest hint of pride. “That’s my captain,” He chuckles quietly. “Managing to seduce a yonko while managing his own career.” He takes a few steps closer into Buggy’s room, his arms falling to his sides. “So, does this one have anything interesting?” He asks, maintaining a respectable distance just in case Buggy is worried about him trying to sneak a peek at the words on the high-quality parchment.
“Apparently, I should expect poetry in the coming letters and phone calls,” Buggy says drily as his hands untangle from the now even messier hair. He chuckles weakly as his hands reattach themselves to his arms. “How ‘bout that? A yonko writing love poems.” He shakes his head as he gets up, disdainfully eyeing the letter before he flips it over. He doesn’t want anyone to see what Shanks had written for only him.
Cabaji chuckles in tune with his captain, this time more assured that Buggy isn’t overly upset by this. After all, the shichibukai may be very good at hiding his emotions, but Cabaji knows his captain well enough to know his true emotions. “I never would have guessed. Then again, when it comes to you, the expected is never what we get.” He gives Buggy a lopsided smile as he crosses his own arms.
Buggy laughs again, louder this time. “What can I say? I’m an absolute delight to be around,” He chirps with a wide, arrogant grin. His smile holds its place until Cabaji’s laughter fades away and their left in comfortable silence. Then Cabaji starts shifting his weight from foot to foot, and the silence becomes stiff in their throats. “Is there… something else you needed to say?” Buggy asks, his head tilting to the side curiously.
Cabaji nods as he bites the inside of his cheek. It takes him a moment before he says anything. “The Red Hair Pirate… He’s still here,” Cabaji says softly, flinching as he waits for an outburst. However, the outburst doesn’t come.
Instead, in place of yelling, there’s simply a resigned sigh. “Of course. Why wouldn’t he be?” The clown stands up from his desk and uses his foot to roughly push his chair back under his desk. He doesn’t even bother to pull on his coat or hat as he begins walking towards the door. Buggy looks back at Cabaji as he asks, “So where is he?”
“Up on the deck,” The acrobat answers quickly. “I already cleared everyone else off, so you don’t have to worry about being interrupted.”
A short nod and a quick flash of a smile is offered to the first mate. “Thank you, Cabaji.” Buggy stops at the stairs leading to the upper deck and turns to face Cabaji. “It shouldn’t take too long, but knowing Shanks’ crew, this might end up with Beckman and I drinking all night and talking about how foolish Shanks is. Either way, just try and keep everyone away from us. Can you do that?” He asks, but he already knows that Cabaji is capable of this task.
“Of course, Captain Buggy! Take as long as you need.” The acrobat nods shortly before heading towards the crews’ quarters. Buggy watches him go with a slight smile. He has a good crew.
The blue-haired man sighs and tries to adjust his ponytail, but it’s probably irreparable without a mirror and a comb. He gives up and trudges up the stairs and pushes open the door before stepping out into the cool evening air. He takes in a deep breath to cool his anger-heated insides before opening his eyes again.
The tall, broad figure of Benn Beckman is immediately easy to spot. He’s leaning against the railing, a cigarette alight between his lips as he holds a carton of them in his hand. His eyes move over to Buggy once the pirate captain closes the door behind him. He nods in acknowledgement, a gesture which Buggy returns as he makes his way over to the Red Hair Pirates’ first mate.
Wordlessly, Buggy leans against the railing next to Benn and easily takes the cigarette that’s offered to him. He eyes it skeptically as he waits for the taller man to light it. It’s a decent enough brand, sure. Better than decent even. It’s just that this brand of cigarettes happens to be the very one that Shanks and Buggy smoked together when they were still on Roger’s crew. Blue eyes move from the now lit cigarette to Benn’s face.
Benn returns the gaze easily as he takes a hit from what Buggy can now tell is a different brand. “Captain’s favorite,” The Red Hair pirate explains with a subtle nod towards the cigarette in Buggy’s hand. “He said you’d like ‘em, too.”
Buggy pauses with the lit cigarette halfway to his lips. He looks at it and considers tossing it into the ocean behind them, but that would be a waste of a good cigarette. He sighs but raises it to his lips and takes in a deep inhale. ‘You have the lungs of a swimmer,’ Crocus had told him when he was younger.
There’s a few moments of silence between them as smoke fills the air and forms clouds around their heads.
“You know,” Benn starts in his deep voice. He watches the clown from his peripherals. “Captain really does miss you. Talks about you morning, noon, and night of everyday. Even threw away the stash of liquor he kept in his room. Can’t say I’m not impressed, but… I’ve never seen him miss you this badly before.”
Buggy chuckles under his breath as he takes another deep inhale. “Yeah,” He says, smoke curling around each syllable, “I bet you haven’t. Then again, neither have I.”
There’s a pause between them before Benn speaks up again.
“Well?” The first mate asks almost expectantly. “Do you miss him, too?”
Buggy is quiet for a moment as he lets the smoke pass through his lips. He doesn’t even look up at Benn as he asks, “You gonna tell him the truth?”
Buggy glares at the taller man from the corners of his eyes. Benn just smiles back without a care in the world. Buggy rolls his eyes and scoffs as he crushes the butt of the cigarette under his heel. “Honestly? I don’t miss him all too much, since I know he’ll find his way back to me before too long.”