Fandom: One Piece
Disclaimer: Same as in the first chapter.
Notes: For now, expect an update every weekend. In addition, any beta volunteers?
zoel black - Glad you liked the title since I agonized over it ^^; I hope you'll enjoy this take. :3

Subject: AU Outtake of nothing new in this world's 'Diary of a Potato Bag'
Timeline: AU set at an undetermined point in the future
Place: Unknown Grandline island
Title: One of Life's Little Mysteries
Alternative title: It was the Taste

It was the darndest thing. She had no idea what made her do it.
No idea whatsoever.
Years later she was still completely baffled by it. I mean… What. The. Hell.

But it happened. And, quite honestly, she could never bring herself to regret it.
The event never made it to the Diary. There was no way she could put it on paper and make it seem… decent.
It wasn't indecent; it was just… simply hard to explain.

As for what happened?

There was yet another confrontation with the Whitebeard's pirates. By some stroke of luck, and it was about freaking time, she was not involved.
In fact, her patrol was on the other side of the island proving once again that 'marine intelligence' was a hard to dispute oxymoron.
They arrived when all but fires were out. Literally! The Pirates were gone and several buildings were burning, a few of them in Marco's blue flames.

Of course, it was one of those her squad had to take care of. Even when not present, he was still consistent in being a terrible annoyance. Typical.

So there she was coordinating extinguishing from the front patio and passing along an occasional bucket or blanket when a small flame started again on the nearby wooden beam.
It almost seemed like it was dancing and winking at her. Which was ridiculous and an obvious proof of her utter exhaustion.
Still, it was a beautiful sight – sparkly blue on black wood while the sun was just finishing its journey behind the waves. Wow.

She was already holding a wet blanket in her hand so she strode to the beam. Flame increased slightly, gaining traction, so she instinctively extended her other, free hand and grabbed the flame, cupping it to her palm. And then she stared dumbly at it, trying to figure out what exactly was she doing.

She could hold the flame, but why take the chance. Why making herself noticeable!
And then an overwhelming curiosity overtook her and she did something utterly dumbfounding in front of a number of marines, some of which were actually paying attention.

She brought the flame to her lips and licked it. Luxuriously, like an ice-cream sundae, slowly and with relish. Few marines who actually saw this stared at her completely pole-axed. There were a number of unattractively open mouths and few cigars and cigarettes on the ground. She paid them no attention.

Instead, their Ensign blinked, shook her head and looked at the flame with what appeared to be shock and disbelief. And then she licked it again, sweeping the rest of the flame into her mouth. Everyone was still staring and a few additional mouths started catching bugs and ashes while her face completely blanked out. After a dozen seconds or so, Wesley decided to make a move, clearing his throat. However, in the next moment she burst into laughter.

A true one, one of those rare bellyaching, rib-bruising laughter. She positively shrieked and then fell on her knees trying to laugh and breathe at the same time. After a minute, the intensity of her laughter stayed the same, but she was now literally rolling on the ground laughing her head off.

Stern and decidedly not amused voice of Rear Admiral Sakazuki came from the upper levels of the complex, demanding to know what was going on. Was it really necessary for him to supervise them as well? Ensign Grey apparently heard because she managed to lower the volume and slowly, gaspingly brought herself under control and on her shaky feet. She wiped the tears of her face and, still giggling, entered the building that was just announced as safe.

She honestly didn't notice the frozen mass of staring marines. This was fine since they too didn't notice some things. Like a bunch of pirates watching them from an indentation on a nearby cliff. One of them would have given them shivers; he had a creepy smile and hungry, oh so very hungry blue eyes. They danced like flames.