Doflamingo sipped casually on his drink, an irritated frown marring his features as he glared at the report on his desk.
So. Law fancies himself a Warlord of the Seas. Which makes him untouchable.
At least for now. Doflamingo's glare gave way to a small, sinister smile. This was fine. He would give Law the reins for a bit, and the moment the brat started swinging his weight around, Doflamingo would corner him. He had certainly waited long enough for him to surface.
Doflamingo would get the Eternal Youth Surgery.
However irritating his former protege was, his promotion was not the source of Doflamingo's current bad mood. No, the source was none other than a photo currently held in his hand.
A photo of his slave.
When Doflamingo had first heard that Law had possession of his missing slave girl, he hadn't been concerned. In fact, he had long since lost interest in the raving woman as anything other than something to take his anger out on. Originally, he had hoped that by having her around, she would drop more hints like on that first meeting — but she had only gotten more unintelligible. Nothing he did had ever brought her the same clarity as that first day. Even sex with her lost it's thrill when she didn't seem to notice he was touching her.
There was a muffled noise coming from the direction of his bedroom. The corner of Doflamingo's mouth twitched before he resumed his musings.
He had put a reasonable bounty on her head to spite Law. The boy had taken something that belonged to Doflamingo. Even if he didn't particularly care for it, she was still his property.
But this? This changed everything. The photo wasn't of particularly great quality, being slightly out of focus, with a lens flare that partially obscured it's contents. Even with its faults, the image of his slave was clear enough. Eyes bright, clearly conversing, and following Law through the Sabaody Archipelago.
Another report had come in since then, confirming that the girl was more than aware of Law — she'd become lucid.
Law had done something Doflamingo hadn't been able to do in five years. Which angered Doflamingo. He wanted her. It was bigger now than pissing Law off — now it was personal.
Doflamingo never came second.
He placed the photo down on his desk next to the report of Law's promotion. There was another muffled noise. Lost in thoughts as he planned his next steps, he stepped into his bedroom.
He would have to be careful. With Law becoming a Shichibukai, taking his slave back would require more finesse. If he wanted to avoid trouble, Doflamingo would have to make sure that he wasn't connected to her kidnapping and disappearance from Law's side. At least, not yet.
For now, he'd take down her bounty. It was moot now, and too directly connected to himself. Doflamingo would wait and take her back when the time was right. Until then, he had contacts in the underground that would watch his slave more thoroughly. He wanted to know exactly what had changed.
Glancing at the occupant on the bed, he rested his drink on a shelf before undoing his pants. His irritation at his old slave would at least have an outlet in his new one.
His grin turned sinister at the look of terror in the woman's eyes as she tried to struggle out of the strings that held her to the headboard. Doflamingo chuckled. When Law and his slave were at their most comfortable, he would take her back. He looked forward to the look on Law's face when he did.
Law glanced at the sleeping woman next to him, head resting on Shakky's bar, lips parted as she lightly snored. Is had become almost narcoleptic since being possessed, falling asleep anywhere that she sat down at. Between that and her insatiable appetite, Law could tell exactly how much damage the Shadow had done to her body.
Even when asleep, she seemed to have a radar on him. She would wake up if he ever tried to leave the room.
Not that he'd really tried to. If he was completely honest with himself, he was almost possessed with anxiety whenever he considered leaving her side. Having met the monsters that terrorized her, he was suddenly thrust into the unfamiliar territory of being completely sympathetic with someone who had suffered immensely. He had become utterly convinced that no one else could possibly take care of her like he did. Not even Shakky.
Which amused the older woman to no end. Much to Law's chagrin.
Said woman stood cleaning a glass in front of him, a wry, knowing smile on her lips as her eyes danced with mischievous delight. "She's not going to disappear, Mr. Shichibukai."
Law glared, not dignifying the woman with an answer. The flying bat messenger had come two days ago, the day after the Shadow possessed his seer. His crew was now staying nearby, but Law had opted to stay at Shakky's bar for two reasons.
First, having now encountered a Shadow, there was an unspoken bond between the three who now sat in the room. Second, Shakky and Is had been working on her meditation over the last few days. There was a definite increase in some sort of control, almost an ability to focus on particular visions for more information. Third, here there was some relief from the Joker's spies as Law waited for his reaction.
"Whiskey, please, Shakky."
The woman turned to pour Law a drink. There were a few other patrons here now, including the Flying Fish Riders (who irritated Law to no end, but after a few glares they at least left Law alone), but the bar was still relatively quiet.
The glass appeared in front of him, as well as a slip of paper. When other people had appeared, Shakky had begun communicating via paper to avoid notice from others. Law had a great deal of appreciation for her discretion, as he never even caught the woman writing the notes, nor did he see how she got the information she gave him. Maybe she had been a ninja in her past life.
He murmured his thanks, and palmed the note to read later. He glanced back at his sleeping seer, contemplating kicking her off the stool she sat on to wake her up. Just as quickly as the thought ran through his head, he pushed it away. She needed the rest.
Despite her exhaustion and hunger, Is seemed to have come to terms with her demonic possession in the most light-hearted way. She had waved it off as being a part of the job description and joking about the shitty pay. Every now and again, he would catch her glancing over his shoulder with a light glare, but when he caught her eyes she would just laugh about the "bosses checking in."
Which of course did nothing to quell Law's anxiety. She seemed to have completely accepted the fact that there were demonic gods that had fucked her over in more than one way, while he was left wondering if suicide was a viable option.
Swishing the drink in his hand a little, Law took a sip of the whiskey and savored the taste. Shakky always gave him the good stuff. He took another glance at Is sleeping beside him.
At least she smiled now. He would never admit to anyone how relieved he had been when she began smiling, even though he knew it was partially forced. He just couldn't tell why it was forced. Was she more disturbed by the Shadow that she had let on? He doubted it. She was a terrible liar, and he believed she had honestly accepted the Shadows. Terrified as she was, she accepted them. There was the possibility that it was her realization that he had made her lose her son, but Law refused to bring up that subject himself. Guilt about the "Jena" incident? Again, possible. She was the type to beat herself up for mistakes like that, especially since that one nearly cost him his life. Although to be fair, "Jena" probably would have come after his bounty regardless of his seer sleeping with her. It just irritated him that she had.
If nothing else, it was possible that she had been through so much at this point that, much like himself, her smile would always be tainted with the scars she had suffered.
He forced his thoughts away from her. As he reached for his glass again, he read the note that he had palmed from the bartender earlier.
Her bounty is retracted.
So much for thinking of something else.
Law carefully kept his face even as he took in this new information. This was Joker's reaction to his new promotion, the same reaction that he had originally hoped to illicit. He could breathe a sigh of relief. She was safe.
But he didn't. Not yet. Something smelled fishy. Joker would never give up so easily.
It would mean that bounty hunters would not go after her again, sure, but it didn't mean that Doflamingo didn't had a plan of some kind. He could be watching her, he supposed. But to what end? He took a glance at her and another sip of his drink.
From now on, she would not be leaving his side. He couldn't risk Doflamingo taking her from another crew-mate. He didn't want another Samei on his hands.
Is shifted slightly in her sleep, a small frown on her face while she whimpered quietly. Law slowly placed the glass on the counter before reaching to stroke her hair. He barely registered the other people in the room, as he was too absorbed in the sleeping seer.
Was she having a nightmare?
Whatever it was, Law's touch chased it away. Her frown softened into a tiny, still asleep smile. Something light and bubbly permeated Law's chest, and he realized exactly how deeply involved he was now.
He was totally fucked.
Is munched on her crackers while she waited for Bepo to finish his meeting with Law. They sat at his desk discussing possible routes they could take to continue dicking around before heading to the New World, while Is lounged on the couch.
Law and Is had finally returned to the sub this morning, and the crew had excitedly regaled her with tales of all of the enemies they had defeated in her name. She laughed at their exaggerated tales and dramatic flair, but she knew for a fact that the Chain Gang crew had been brutally murdered by her Captain's crew.
She had the best friends.
Bepo and Law were hunched over some maps in the bright light of his office, discussing various currents and routes, and the different eternal poses that they had in their possession. Turns out that Bepo was quite the collector of eternal poses. And he had bear sense, which meant he knew a storm was coming before anyone else. Except maybe Nami, but Is didn't want to burst his bubble.
Is was relieved that they had returned to the sub. Within the confines of the sub, there was a sense of safety. She didn't need to follow her Captain everywhere, although she had a feeling that if she really needed to, she could find him quickly. Maybe the Shadows were whispering to her again, but she always knew exactly where he was.
Within reason, of course. She hadn't given herself the chance to test how strong of a sense it was.
There was also a peace that had settled in her heart now, an understanding that she didn't have before. She was there to protect her Captain, and so long as she did that the Shadows would leave her alone.
Besides, even if they didn't, there was nothing she could do about it short of just making sure he was never in that much danger. Soul-ripping was serious business with unknown consequences. She was not looking forward to immortality.
He glanced her way, and Is grinned at him. When he turned away, her smile grew tight as a certain heaviness came back.
She loved him. Well and truly. She would do anything to protect the man in front of her, even if that meant having her soul ripped out. Although she would much rather not.
The seer moved onto pears instead of crackers, ignoring the various visions that occupied the dead space in her mind as she zoned out. Is sucked the juice out of the pears, closing her eyes to the aroma of it. Sweet things were the best.
A tingle came on the top of her head, and she opened her eyes. "We'll be taking off soon, Is-ya. We're headed to Roches next."
She nodded, closing her eyes and trying to concentrate as she had been practicing. The tingle left her head, but she heard a few quiet whispers before a door opened and closed. Bepo had left.
There was a myriad of different images that assaulted her senses. For the most part, they were unrelated, or just didn't stand out to her. Well… except the senator in the sheer silk robes. Well now. She giggled, thinking of her Captain in those same silk robes, lounging and eating grapes like a king.
"… Is-ya," growled her Captain.
She opened her eyes to see the eyebrow twitch of her Captain as he leaned against his desk. "Nothing, just thought of something funny."
"It'll be rough and tumble, but not terrible. The sheer look is great. You should try it."
For a moment, her Captain just stared at her. Is realized with a start that they hadn't had sex since they left the sub — she was always asleep by the time he finished brushing his teeth.
But now here they were, alone in his offices. Her grin turned impish, and she winked at the man who was leaning casually against his desk. He glared back, and turned towards the door.
That wasn't what she expected. Maybe he'd lost interest in her.
Fuck, if he'd lost interest—
There was a click of a lock as the mechanisms fell into place. Is blinked before recognizing the look in her Captain's eyes.
"I'm not wearing a sheer toga, Is-ya," he said as he stalked towards her.
"Ah. I uh… guess not." Did her heart always beat this fast? Maybe she was going to die of a heart attack. Death from sex. That would be a good way to go, she supposed.
Right, can't die, forgot.
Then his lips captured hers, and everything else gave way to electricity. Sitting on the couch next to her, he pulled her into his lap and used a grip on her hair to dominate the kiss. Is let him take control as the sensations overwhelmed her, and she left coherent thought behind.
Then he stopped. Is bit her lip to hold back a needy moan, and opened the eyes she didn't know she had closed. He was looking over his shoulder, saying something.
"—be right there."
Wait, be right there? But that meant—
He gently pushed her off of his lap, and went to stand, and irritated scowl on his face. Footsteps retreated from behind the door, and Is realized that she was just cock-blocked by the crew that she loved so well.
Fucking crew members.
Was it cock-blocked, or box-blocked? Vagina blocked? Clam Jammed? Taco blocko? Damnit, now she was hungry and horny.
Her Captain unlocked the door and exited without another word, clearly as irritated as she was.
Well, at least Is could solve one of her problems. Well, technically she could solve both, but it wouldn't be nearly so satisfying. With a sigh she got up, ran fingers through her hair and headed down to meet Couri in the kitchen.
Law finally finished up with meeting all of the crew members of the ship after returning to the sub. Shakky had given them a sweet farewell, as well as a bottle of high quality whiskey for Law as a parting gift. That, and a few words of wisdom.
"She'll be fine, Mr. Trafalgar. She's tougher than she looks."
Law glared at a wall as Shachi and Penguin discussed the state of the engine room. They thought they might have found a solution to the heating problem. It would still be hot in the sub, but not quite so stifling.
Bepo was sulking a bit in his room. The island they would be going to next was a summer island, bright, warm, and humid. Exactly what Bepo detested. Between that and the sub, Law expected the mink to be spending a lot of time in his Freezer, even if Bepo normally avoided that place like the plague. Something about having a sensitive bear nose.
And Law knew that Is was tougher than she looked. After a day to get over the shock of possession she was already joking about it. Blood and guts never bothered her. Hell, she actively enjoyed being mutilated. Logically, he knew all of this, yet still he was quickly becoming a mother hen. He was already itching to find out where she was, what she was doing, and who she was with.
Law took a deep breath, a forced the annoying seer out of his mind. His obsession was becoming ridiculous. He blamed it on the fact that he was cock-blocked earlier. That was definitely the problem.
It was certainly not his damnable feelings getting the better of him.
"Your reasoning seems sound, as do your calculations. Make the adjustments we've discussed."
"Aye aye, Captain!" said Shachi, with an added salute. Under Law's icy glare, he dropped his hand, muttered a goodbye and began to leave. Penguin hesitated.
"Did something happen between you and Is?"
This would take some careful stepping. Law eyed the young man, trying to decide if it was genuine concern and curiosity, or if he knew something. He spoke slowly, keeping his voice calculatingly level. "Why?"
"Well… I mean, you guys spent three days held up in your safe house and away from everyone, and you've seemed a bit… off, since you got back. Antsy."
Law sighed. Genuine concern it was. "It was just bounty hunters, Penguin."
Law picked up his sword and began to leave the room, wondering where on earth his seer might have gone to.
"They were after Is-chan, weren't they? That's why you hid, isn't it?"
"Captain, we have a right to know if our friend is in trouble."
What could he say? None of them knew that she had belonged to the Joker, or what his original motive for even bringing her on the ship had been. He couldn't explain any of it without getting them involved, and that was before he even began talking to them about the alternate dimensions, or the Shadows-Gods that haunted his nightmares, or the fact that he twitched uncomfortably unless she was in his arms.
Maybe he was going mad.
In a single moment, Law felt completely alone. And for the first time in a very long time, it brought no comfort.
"How do you know what you see is real?"
Law clenched his jaw. He could worry about existential doubts later.
"Her former master sent some bounty hunters after her. We've since reached an understanding. That's all you need to know."
Shachi stepped in. "Penguin, she'll be alright. Come on, or will miss out on dinner."
Law left Shachi to console his friend, and made his way out into the hallway. It had now been four hours since he had last seen the seer, two hours since they had departed from the Archipelago. And he wanted to see her.
Because if she was there, then all the ticks, the doubts, and questions in his head would disappear. At least around her he felt less insane.
Although that was hardly an argument for his own sanity.
He judged based on how long it had been since she had been gone from his side that there was only one place she would be — the training room with Quilo. It didn't take him long to reach the door he needed, and he pushed it open gently, eyes sweeping over the room until he found the object of his affliction.
There she was, covered in gore and ruined training clothes that Shakky had given her. There was a distinct improvement in her fighting style that Law could only attribute to being both a quick study and a natural. Quilo had added a couple more basic blocks and counters to her repertoire, and drilled those basic moves relentlessly. He was a firm believer in repetition creating mastery, and Law agreed.
Law closed the door behind him, moving to lean against the wall and watch quietly for a moment. She was focused on the fight between her and Quilo, but Law had a sneaking suspicion that the young woman was fully aware of where he was.
There was something else. Compared to her beginnings a few short weeks ago, she was more fluid. Graceful. Even as she was covered in her own blood. Law crossed his arms, watching her carefully and observing her every movement with rapt attention. It calmed him. One by one, the doubts began slipping away. The feeling of loneliness no longer bared down on his soul. Here was a woman who not only understood his every circumstance, she had overcome her every obstacle with a cheeky smile and quick retort.
Damnit, he was fucked. The moment the crew got word of exactly how far he had fallen for the young women, there were a few possible outcomes. If they believed he had forced himself upon her, it would cause a mutiny. Judging by the ring of people around the ring egging her on against Quilo, it was unlikely. Second, there was the possibility that they would think that Law had become weak and either abandon him or lose faith in their Capitan. Not to mention what it would do to his reputation.
Then again, in terms of women he could have fallen for, she would more like help his reputation rather than hinder it. The blood-covered look would terrify the average person.
Then there was the most-likely possibility — that the gossipy mother-fuckers would tease the shit out of him.
Honestly, Law couldn't decide which possibility was worse.
She managed to almost hit Quilo, but with unnatural speed he dodged the hit last minute and countered with a kiss to her cheek that left her sputtering indignantly, while her crew mates howled with laughter.
One of them broke away from the group to stand next to Law against the wall.
The older man leaned against the wall next to his Captain, his eyes focused on the cheering crew members and the bloodied Is. She had retaken her stance, but Quilo had increased his speed and knocked her on her ass. If looks could kill, Quilo had been murdered several times over by now.
"You're smiling, Captain."
God fucking damnit, he was. She was angry and blood covered, so of course he was smiling.
"Yeah. Killed a lot of people. She's improving. Life is good."
"I agree. It's been a good last few days, particularly now with you two back home. She was missed, you know."
Another smile tugged at the corner of Law's mouth. Naturally, he mentally bludgeoned it to death and fixed his face to be more stoic.
"I'm sure she was."
Quilo paused their practice, handing the young woman a towel before stepping towards the water fountain. Is began wiping some of the blood off of her face, much as a normal person would wipe the sweat.
Fuck, that was hot.
She trotted over to Law, and he fought the urge to lick the blood off of her.
"Hey, Captain! Did you see that! I'm improving."
"Improving at how quickly Quilo can knock you on your ass."
Is glared at Law, and his trademark smirk tugged at his lips. "He's a million times more experienced than me. But now at least I might be able to fight some low-level thugs."
Law raised an eyebrow. "You think that highly of yourself, then?"
She visibly deflated, and then pouted. "… Fine. I'll just… go back and practice."
She glanced back over her shoulder with an irritated scowl.
She blinked for a moment, before grinning again. "Thanks, Captain!"
There was a pause between the two men. Then James spoke quietly, "… So… Nothing going on, huh?"
Law pushed himself off of the wall, gripping his sword tightly, but not removing his eyes from the training session in front of him. "If you have enough breath to talk, you have enough to spar with me, James."
The man laughed before walking to the weapons rack to pick out a pair of practice weapons for them. Law considered that he was lucky. At least James knew how to keep his mouth shut.
And when Is finished with her training session, there was nothing saying that she had to wash the blood off alone.
Hopefully more updates will be coming for ya'll swiftly. Thanks for the support! Remember to drop a review! I like to know your thoughts. :)