The night was dark, and the silence hung still, encasing the palace of Dressrosa in a peaceful shroud of a seeming nothingness. Each star in the sky above twinkled at intervals, dotting the blackness with their pure white sparkle alongside the silver gleam of the full moon, shining down upon the palace like a godly spotlight from the world above. It was the only thing piercing the silence at this time.
Deep in the palace, through the halls carpeted red, every door was closed, and every light unturned. Not a sound could be heard, and not a soul was awake. Well, not a soul but one or two. Traveling through the second floor, one would see a dim yellow glow from a room, seeping out of the crack at the bottom. Inside, was you, sitting at the desk in the corner of your given room, staring down at a blank page of your log book, feather quill in hand, and ink jar uncapped under the dim light of a single candle.
It was your Dressrosan log you bought to use the month or two before you had joined the DonQuixote pirates here. You were meant to document everything that happened, but as you stared at the slightly yellowed pages of the book, you just couldn’t bring yourself to write anything for today at all. There was nothing at all. Maybe someone tripped and fell in the palace a couple times, and you shot a couple of rebellious souls that tried to bust in the door, but that was merely it. Nothing interesting at all. You scrawled that thought onto the page with a frustrated sigh, slapping the quill down and closing the book. You were outrageously bored, and also sick of getting flak from anyone higher up than you, all because you were a newer person here. You had just as many talents, and had proved yourself better than them multiple times over and over again, but to no avail, you were treated like a low level uneducated child around them
“They think they’re so great, don’t they?” You thought, twisting your face into an unhealthy frown.
You were very lucky in the least, to be granted some easy leeway from Doflamingo himself. Surprisingly, the head of the house gave you the most respect out of everyone here. You didn’t know what his motive was, but you’d take it regardless over the other treatment. Maybe it was because he saw… potential in you. Nah, that couldn’t be it. You weren’t exactly talented in the areas you thought his interest resided, and any other hidden talents you had, you never showed, so no one knew about them anyway, giving no reason for acceptance of you. Well, it looks like it would take a while for the others to adjust to your presence you guessed, since they were still being a bunch of rude little pricks about it, even after the backing of Doflamingo.
Rubbing your temples with your index and middle fingers of both your hands, you tried to rid yourself of the persisting headache that wanted to torment you this night alongside the thoughts. Getting annoyed, you shoved out your right hand and knocked your log book forward, sliding it into the wall where your desk met it. You stopped after this, and looked at the papers that appeared underneath your log. Why were they there again? Taking a closer look, you seen it was all staff lines and musical notes. The top left corner read ‘piano’ in your handwriting, and in the right corner, was your signature. It was an old piece of music you were working on. The papers made you smile as you picked them up, glancing over the neatly drawn notes on and in between the lines. As you read, flipping through the first three pages, you noticed that midway through the third page, you had never finished the song. You had meant to, and after reading the notes, you seen that you were so close to finishing too. It was a shame really… You were always known for writing beautiful piano music back before you came here. You just kind of stopped writing after a while though, as you discovered that there was going to be no time for piano playing, and that there was no piano in the palace; at least as far as you were concerned. But even so, there was the odd time you’d subconsciously write some music, in hopes you would be able to play again sometime soon.
Glancing at the quill, the opened jar of ink, and then the unfinished piece, a thought crossed your mind. You didn’t exactly have anything of importance tomorrow, so maybe, why not take a walk and find a nice place to finish this piece? The air of your room was really getting to you, and you wished greatly for some fresher air over the old stink of your workspace, the place where your brain grinded its gears five hours of the day to the point as to where you swore you could smell smoke coming from your ears.
On that thought, you capped your ink jar and cleaned the fine nib of your quill with a damp rag before taking the music, quill, and ink jar in your left had, the candle in your right, and opening the green tinted door of your room slowly, slipping out into the darkened hallway of the palace, letting the door slowly creek shut behind you as your light footsteps pattered on the soft red carpet of the hall, heading out on what you could qualify as an adventure.
You needed a walk anyway.
Hearing the click of your door shut, you stood up straight and glanced down the long hallways to either side of you. The candle you held illuminated the halls just barely enough for your eye sight to reach more than roughly ten feet. Taking that into account, you walked on, beginning an exploration of the palace you were actually not the most familiar with. You had been here a couple months, but have never exceeded anything past the second floor. A wild guess was that the head office, and room of Doflamingo himself was on the top floor, and in any other floors that followed, would be higher ranked members, and different kinds of rooms and items to match each floor. Even your living condition made fun of your rank amongst the others. How reassuring.
Pushing the thought from your mind, you came across a tall staircase, leading up to the floor above. It was midnight, and no one was awake. This would be a fairly good time to act upon exploring this place, as no one would be awake to ridicule you for it and send you back down. You had this moment all to yourself, as long as you remained quiet of course. Without hesitation, you set a foot on the stairs, also having the same red carpet lead the way on, and began your ascent to the next floor above.
The third floor was a little classier than the last. There was more art, sculptures, pottery, and almost everything metal seemed to be plated in silver, unlike the bronze on your floor. Passing by a window, you glanced outside at the city below. You were fairly high up, and if you could stick your head out the window, you had a good feeling the peak of the building would be visible. The height was enough to clue you in that this was most likely the second last floor anyway, pressing on as the carpet faded from red to blue. It was calming. A much more different atmosphere that the last floor. All the rooms had labels on them, determining who was in what room. You scoffed as you passed every door with someone’s name on it who you disliked, giving it a subtle middle finger from the hand holding the candle, followed by an eye roll.
This floor was a lot like the last. Nothing intrigued you quite as much as you hoped it to. Making a round on the next corner, you found the next staircase that lead up to what you would call the last floor before any rooms in the towers. Looking up, you ascended these stairs as well, the carpet fading from blue to a sea green, the edges trimmed with gold. Leveling off after the last step, metals were now plated in gold, and there was far more detail on some doors more than others, and not to mention the fact that there were less doors as well. Looking to your left, you saw a wide double door. Must be the conference room that you were never invited too because, well, you know. Looking right, the hall stretched out further and made a right turn before the building ended, making space for more rooms to access. This was the only way that looked passable to you, so with that, you stepped quietly down the hall towards the turn.
Just before the turn, you noticed a door to your right, larger than the rest, but not as large as the double doors at the end of the hall. It had a few designs engraved into it, and some of the grooves were decorated with accents of gold in them. The thing that caught your wary eye though, was the dim glow of a light underneath the crack of the door. You froze, and listened inside. Someone was awake, that much was easy to tell. What they were doing though, wasn’t the thing you could figure out. But judging by the door type, and the level you were on, this had to be Doflamingo’s room. Alerting him of your presence was most certainly the last thing you wanted to do. It didn’t matter how nice to you he was, if he caught you up here at this time of night, you could say goodbye to your job, and maybe even your life. All depends on his mood of course.
Carefully, and quietly, you began to tip toe in an overdramatic fashion through the hall for as long as his door extended, careful not to drop anything, trip and fall, or create shadows on the light. But, as if something was just dying to get the better of you, you felt the small jar of ink slip from your fingers, and you inwardly gasped silently as it fell from your hands and bounced on the carpet once, creating a dull sound that resonated a little in the silence. You held back your screams of frustration and held your breath, hoping to god he didn’t hear anything at all. The sounds from his room stopped, and so did your heart.
“Please don’t come out please don’t come out please don’t come out!” You repeated rapidly in your head over and over again, clenching your eyes shut and biting your lip while frozen in place, hoping you could get out of this one free without a catch.
Slowly, the sound of sheets ruffling in the room were heard again, and no footsteps of anyone approaching the door from the other side could be heard. You released a small airy breath of relief that would have been much bigger if you didn’t have to be so quite. Gingerly, you reached down and picked up the ink jar, locking it between the fingers of your left hand securely in case you decided to fumble it again and screw yourself over completely as you bent back upright, continuing your careful walk past the door until you were a good two meters from it. After that, you returned to your normal pace and heaved your chest in a relieved manner again, holding the candle out to see the remaining distance to the turn. But what you didn’t see, or for the matter, hear, was the green and gold decorated door slowly opening without a sound, letting the dim glow from inside spill out into the hallway as a blonde head peeked out, watching you disappear around the corner before a small smirk appeared on its face, glasses glinting in the dim light before lightly swooping out the door and down the hall behind you without a sound.
Meanwhile, you had made the corner and looked down into a small hall, darkness at its short dead end. There was one door surprisingly. Not exactly what you expected for the top floor, but it had to be a special room for it to be the only one here. Curiosity overtaking you, you approached the door and carefully turned the gold plated knob and pushed it open in hopes that it would reveal something nice inside, a place for you to write the last of your music.
Opening the door fully, the yellow light of your candle illuminated the stone floor as you looked up into the room. It was an overly generic room, and there was a single window, arched with a golden frame separating the four small panes of glass it held. The moonlight shone through it, creating a silver beam that fell upon a certain point in the room. Watching that beam, you found that it fell upon a small black bench, being polished to perfection. What the stool stood at is what amazed you the most though. Only inches away from the stool, stood an old, classic black piano, looking sleek and shiny, even under the thin coat of dust that covered the top of it. Your jaw dropped, as you thought this place didn’t even have a piano at all, and just stumbling across one now, was pure luck. It just had to be.
Carefully, you closed the door and approached the black beauty, admiring how classic it looked under the glow of the moon. Dusting off a spot, you placed your candle, music, and quill on top of the piano so you could look at the rest of this curvy triangular beauty. Walking to its side, you noticed something you hadn’t seen from a distance. First engraved, then painted in white, was the Name ‘DonQuixote’ along its side in perfect handwriting. The entire thing was covered in a smooth lacquer before being polished, giving it this beautiful shine that no other piano you’ve seen before had.
“This must be his family’s piano.” You observed, tracing your fingers lightly over the grooves of the intricate lettering. “It looks like it hasn’t been played in ages… maybe, maybe he wouldn’t mind if I played it just a bit. A piano shouldn’t go to long without having its strings put to use every once in a while.”
Moving around to the front of the piano, you brushed off the surface before sitting yourself down on the black stool, gazing at the contrasting black and white keys that sat before you. Lightly, you touched your fingers to the keys and pressed down lightly, creating smooth little ringing tones at the pressure. The keys were definitely pure ebony and ivory, giving it a true and pure sound that you yourself had rarely come across, considering that most pianos you’ve played were made cheaply by people who never put love into an instrument. But this one, had all the effort from its creator’s heart. From the strings inside, to the flawless coats of paint on the outside, this piano was built with detail and care. The DonQuixote family was extremely lucky to own a piano of this quality. It was a rarity in itself.
Lightly, you brushed off the thin layer of dust that collected on the keys to reveal the clean shine of the ivory and the smooth texture of the ebony, also brushing off the music stand just above the keys. Then, you carefully took your music and set it on the stand and looked it over carefully. You hadn’t had this view in a long time, and it brought a smile to your face just to be in this position once again in your life. You missed it, and felt relieved to feel it again. Reading over your notes, you were going to uncap your ink jar, when you decided that maybe, you should play it over instead, just to see what was on your mind with this exact piece, so you could bring the thought back, to recapture the notes and let your heart do the rest of the work, to write the ending for itself instead of inking it down on paper. You would of course after you played, so you would always have a copy in case you forgot, or wanted to teach someone your heart’s desire through the sound of music. Taking the quill and ink off the top of the piano, you set it on the floor just behind the stool before reaching over and lifting up the top of the piano to reveal the strings underneath. They were in perfect condition. The best you’ve ever seen on a piano in years.
“Someone must have been taking care of this for years. No piano I’ve met has stayed in this kind of condition for long.” You thought.
With the top open, the sound of the strings would resonate more purely into the air, giving a crisp clear sound that would rattle your fingers and eardrums as you played. You missed the feel of the keys under your fingers, and the resonance of each note running through your head and body. Breathing in deep, you pressed down on the keys lightly, for fear that you might draw attention to the room or wake someone. Quietly, you played out a few chords that you remembered from one of your favourite songs from years ago, getting the feel of a piano back into your fingertips. The tone was perfect, absolutely perfect, and it made you smile softly.
“Beautiful…” You murmured.
Without any further hesitation, you glanced up at your music and looked carefully at the notes you had written out, all quarters, halves, and wholes, and began to play the melody and harmony you had written out some time ago, to remember the song that was coming from your heart onto the pages. As you played, you only made it through the first few measures before you stopped at a thought. It was missing a little something. Playing the same measure over a couple times, you began to hum with it, and soon, you had decided that the something this was missing was words, some meaning to accompany the smooth notes you had written out.
It wasn’t hard. You’ve done things like this before. Thinking on the spot was easy for you, because you really didn’t think, you flowed. It all came purely from your heart, and always matched your music perfectly without fail, and that’s exactly what you did. Flawless notes seemingly flew from the pages right to your fingertips on the keys, and a new tone came from within yourself, flowing lyrics coming from your lips, blending together to create the most perfect harmonization that you’ve ever done in a long time.
You were rather hesitant with the sound at first, playing and singing only quietly in case you woke someone up, but as the seconds passed, you found the courage to sing louder and play prouder, almost forgetting that you were still in the palace. When you played, you were taken away to another world; one filled with music and everlasting peace as you played. Being absorbed in this world, your fingers came down on the keys firmly, and your foot tapped the far right pedal on the bottom of the piano, sustaining some of the notes and making them ring out with your voice. This was truly the most perfect piano you have ever played in your entire life. It was pure beauty in its own self.
Through your loud, prideful and shameless playing, the door to that room had slowly creaked open and a person wearing a pink feathered coat peeked through, before freezing at the sight. It was of course Doflamingo, but when he heard the sounds of a piano, he thought he was just hearing things when he followed you. But you did walk into THAT room, and minutes later, the sound of keys being pressed and strings ringing out could only be you. He just opened the door to peek in and see what was up, but the sight was far greater than he thought it was going to be. You were always an interesting person to him from the moment you began your work here, and he did more than admire you, he was fascinated with your hobbies for some reason. Finding out that you were this kind of musician though, was absolutely, and shockingly amazing, and possibly, even a bit alluring.
In what a person could call a mesmerized state, Doflamingo quietly stepped into the room, letting the door shut silently behind him. There, he stood, and watched you play, you yourself being completely unaware of his presence due to you being completely immersed in your playing. From his view, it was admirable how much work you put into your playing, moving with the keys and never keeping still as you played. The moonlight that was beaming through the window used to be shining down on the stool, but now, it only illuminated you, giving your entire form a silver lining, leaving roughly a quarter of your face in the light, just enough to see your forehead, the arch of your nose, the shine of your singing lips, and the tip of your chin, all melded with the music.
For you, nothing was noticed but the song you were finishing. You had already passed the point where the music you had already written stopped, and started creating what was to come next from your heart. You needn’t look at the sheets anymore, and with one swift movement, when your right hand wasn’t on a chord, you put your hand on the music and swiped it away from you, off the sleek piano and into the air, fluttering down to the stone cold floor as you smiled wide, keeping on with your playing, coming to the part you would call the closing verse. Chanting the words, your fingers danced on the keys, creating chords of wonder as your foot tapped up and down vigorously on the pedal, your head and body swinging with it, arching your back and flinging your head back as you his the last hard chord, voice ringing out as you lowered your volume to a more gentle sound. You reduced your playing to soft chords until you felt it was the end, holding your foot down on the sustaining pedal, letting the last keys hold their tone until the ringing of the strings died out on its own, leaving a peaceful and satisfied smile on your face as you let out a small sigh, resting your hands on either side of you on the stool.
The silence came back over you, bringing you back into the world that was real. You were going to get up with a satisfied smile to pick up your music and write out the last half for learning purposes, when the sound of something soft hitting the floor caught your attention, making you freeze in your seat. Doflamingo’s jacket had accidentally slipped off his shoulders and hit the floor, alerting you. He gave a look of shocked disgust at his accident, but looked over at you, who had stiffly turned your head towards him to see what the sound was. He returned your look with his usual grin, getting over the jacket disturbing you and acting like it was normal.
“Yo.” He greeted, breaking the silence with a wave of his hand.
“OH MY GOD WHEN DID YOU GET IN HERE?! I TOTALLY WASN’T PLAYING YOUR PIANO.” You screeched in surprise, trying to stand up abruptly to get away from the piano, but you tripped on nothingness and fell backwards, the stool catching the backs of your knees and making you slam your head into the floor. Regardless, you rolled backwards, cursing at the strike to your head before standing up again, dusting yourself off and trying to look innocent.
Doflamingo laughed, amused by your little display. “That was quite the fall! But you can’t exactly deny the fact that you were indeed playing this piano though.” He said with a calm tone, his well-known smirk still on his face.
“I’m sorry!” You apologized quickly, almost bowing to him. “I was just… I got bored and found some of my old music and went to go write the last bit because it was unfinished, and then I wandered up here and found this and… Gah! Please don’t kill or kick me out!” You pleaded.
“Hmm? And why would I do that?” He questioned, actually curious as to why you thought that.
You were in too much of a panic to even consider his question. You just answered it. “Why?! I just touched your family piano! This sacred thing that no one should really be touching ever! Are you kidding me?! I’d kill someone if they touched something like this! The condition, the sound, the keys, engravings, everything! It’s of high end quality and sheer beauty! Surely you wouldn’t want me touching something like this! It’s punishable!” You informed, dropping down every detail you possibly could in your panic. “I just… I don’t want to stop working at your side. I enjoy it too much. I don’t want to kick the bucket early for my stupidity. I’m sorry.” You added with a mumble, a light pink tinting your cheeks.
Doflamingo stared at you for a second before cracking a small smile. “Ah, I see. _______, I haven’t a reason to do anything of that sort to you, Why would I kick someone out for using the family piano, when I’ve heard such beautiful music come from such a beautiful girl.” He pointed out.
You coughed, choking on your own breath as it got caught in your throat. “P-pardon me?” You choked out, a small blush coming to your face at the compliment. He hasn’t talked like that to someone in quite some time.
He paused, taking some time to walk up to the black piano only just a few meters from where he stood. “You know, it’s been ages since I’ve even heard this piano get played.” He mused, resting his fingertips on the white ivories lightly. “It’s been even longer since I played myself. Hearing you though, that was something else. I knew you had a hidden talent somewhere.” He praised, looking over at you a few feet behind the stool.
You gulped. “E-eh, thank you.” You stuttered, blushing slightly. “So… you used to play then?” You added, questioning his previous statement.
“Yes. I used to play all the time…” He trailed off.
Feeling less threatened by getting in shit, you slowly walked up to his side and followed his gaze, staring down at the keys with him. “That’s a shame. This is a one of a kind instrument. It’s far more beautiful than any other I’ve ever seen, and feels much more natural than any I’ve ever played.” You murmured in an almost sympathetic tone.
Doflamingo turned his gaze from the keys over to you. “Well, hearing it is enough for me now, as I haven’t heard it in such a long time. And when you play it, it’s far more extraordinary than anyone else who has played this before. Beautiful sound can only come from a beautiful person~.” He claimed, a hint of a tease in his tone.
“U-uhm, Doflamingo sir, what’s up with all these… compliments, if I must say?” You asked, feeling your face warm up again.
“Hmm? Well, I feel like I should be saying things to such a talented woman. After all, I am fascinated with some music~. And your voice _______, is a one of a kind beautify with that piano.”
You blushed a little harder, and became unable to find something to respond with to him at this point.
“I think I’ve forgotten how to play. I should really try again sometime soon…” He started, pressing some random keys on the piano a couple times. “But, I think I want some practise on you _______. Can I make you sing for me~?” He asked with a chuckle, turning his body to you and backing you against the wall just next to the window, making you squeak in surprise.
“D-Doflamingo!” You stammered in surprise.
“Yes~?” He hummed, pressing up against you as his hands slowly came to each side of you on the wall.
Well, you were attracted to this man, and right now you were blushing like mad, losing control over your face. You had interest in him for quite a while now, but never said anything, because he seemed like the kind of guy to take one of those big-knockered women down at the pool. But here he was now, and he was playing, but it was the kind of playing he only did with certain people. You pondered your thoughts for a response, but it just wouldn’t come quick enough. You began to sputter a bit, trying to get something out to not look stupid in the position you were in.
“Fufufu~! You’re so cute when you get flustered~!” He teased, laughing at you a bit. “Can’t remember what you wanted to say to me~?”
“Prick.” You mumbled lowly. “Such a fucking tease! But… so attractive.”
“What was that?” He asked, grinning wide as he inched his face closer to yours.
You gulped audibly, before coming up with your response before it was too late and you screwed this up. “You can go right ahead, and play me as you wish~.” You sang, using notes similar to the ones you were playing minutes ago.
Doflamingo grinned. “Good~! I’ve felt like trying this for a while now.” He admitted with a whisper, leaning in and pressing his lips onto yours as his hands moved from the wall to your body.
You weren’t expecting something like this to happen, ever. Your mild attraction towards Doflamingo remained hidden for the longest time because you thought it was greedy to even think about him like that, so you had left those thoughts to rot. But now, having him compliment you in such ways, and approach you the way he did, it turned that around. You haven’t even been thinking about him like that for so long now! The thoughts just returned in a split second from his actions, specifically being the ones where he had you up against the wall, and the one where he was now kissing you.
He was actually a little sweet with the kiss, and a lot less violent than you expected. Your lips, still warm from the exercise of singing before, heated even more with the combination of his. His previous statement, about wanting to ‘play you,’ was made clear now. He took his hands, and began running them along your sides and back, tracing your curves with his long and thin fingers. You couldn’t help but think, with the feeling of his fingers on your body, that he would have definitely made an amazing pianist if he kept playing. With such long fingers, you just imagined the chords he could hit. He used his right middle and index fingers and ran them along your spine, like one would run their fingers down the keys of a piano. That’s what you felt like: a piano under the play of his fingers, and the music you made was the sounds of your hearts picking up in pace.
You were getting quite used to this, and harmonized yourself with him, curving your body into his to match his form as your hands wrapped themselves around his neck, holding on for support, like the sustaining pedal of a piano, holding your note long. You could feel him grin into the kiss. He was clearly getting a bit of amusement out of this, but it didn’t matter right now. You were going to finish this before any comments were made. Taking one last gesture, you held yourself against him with his hands at your waist, making a deep movement before he was the first to pull back, parting the two of you with a smirk on his face.
“Well that was fun~. You look like you enjoyed it.” He teased.
“It couldn’t exactly be helped.” You muttered. “Besides, was that even a true gesture?”
He tilted his head in question at you.
“Was that even a true gesture.” You repeated. “Did that have meaning, or was it just another one of your games.” You scoffed.
He saw the little hopeful glint in your eyes, and it made him grin. “_______, it was about as true as the music you can produce.” He concluded.
That was of great significance. Your music was the equivalent of a goddess playing a harp, meaning he was as true as heaven itself. How ironic, him being ‘the Heavenly Demon’ and all. You stared back at him, the silver light of the moon just barely slipping past the edge of the window, illuminating the left side of your face slightly, and glinting off his glasses gently as you began to smile slightly.
Well, thank god. That’s something… I didn’t think would happen.” You admitted.
He chuckled. “Dreams can come true. Just gotta ‘catch me in the right mood’ after all.” He joked. “But, I have one condition for you.”
“And what is that?”
“You have to promise you’ll always play the piano for me. I really do miss the sound of it, and when you play, your voice is just so captivating. Can you do that for me dear?” He asked.
You chuckled. “Sure. I’d love to anytime. I miss playing, and it would be an honour to be able to play for you, Doffy~.”
“Doffy?” He questioned with slight amusement in his tone.
“Yep. A little nickname I came up with a while ago. Never had a reason to use it though.” You explained.
“Fufufu, I like it~.” He chimed with a hint of laughter. “But only because it’s you, beautiful~!”
“Jesus stop with the beautiful thing!” You scolded, beginning to blush again.
“Why~? Don’t like it? Or are you just not used to it?”
“Not used to it.” You murmured.
“Well, you will soon, because you’re my beautiful _______ now.” He said with a smile. “My sweet and beautiful musician.”
“God…” You muttered, but were unable to hold back a small smile.
You guess it was alright that you came out and played that piano. It turned out alright, seeing as Doflamingo had just as much of an interest in you as you did in him. What a sweet side he had… You were so holding that against him in the future~.