Olivia woke up with a start, unsure what it was that had caused her to wake so suddenly. A quick glance around eliminated something external and it only took a glance at the calendar on her wall to figure out why she had woken herself up. Today was her wedding day.
Zoro sat in the corner of the room he shared with Robin, legs crossed in front of him. He looked over at his wife but she was sound asleep, the disaster of the impending day not tormenting her. Meanwhile, ironically he couldn't sleep a wink. How could he? Today was the day he gave his daughter away.
Ryoki was awoken by the sound of someone pounding on his door. Blearily he stumbled out of bed and across to the door. He opened the door to see his father standing there dressed in a pair of slacks and a sky blue dress shirt, his hair impeccable as always.
"I knew you wouldn't be up yet. Come on you need to get ready, you haven't forgotten what day it is, have you?" Sanji asked.
Ryoki stared at his father, hearing the words and understanding them but still not sure why Sanji was there. Instinctively his hand went to his hip searching out his packet of cigarettes only to realize he was in a pair of boxers and therefore there was no jean pocket holding the usual pack.
"Dad, I've got plenty of time." He finally grumbled, turning back into the room.
Ryoki found a discarded pair of jeans on the floor and dug a cigarette out, lighting it before straightening up. There was no way his father could really think he had forgotten what today was. It was a day he had been looking forward to ever since he had proposed over a year ago. He wasn't going to forget his wedding day that easily, not when the bride was his perfect match in all things.
Sanji took out his own cigarette taking a drag before checking his watch. He seemed to accept Ryoki's claim of time for he didn't push him to start getting ready. Instead, he simply informed him breakfast was ready and headed back downstairs. Once his father disappeared Ryoki flopped back down on the bed and ran his hand through his hair. He could see his tux hanging on the closet door, sealed in the protective plastic it had came in, he remembered the ordeal it had been to get it fitted and to have a shirt colour chosen and of course the tie to go with it.
He had heard rumours about "bridezillas" and horror stories about the mothers but what he hadn't been expecting was for the trouble to come from his father. He should have known, Sanji took exceptional pride in his appearance and wanted the same for Ryoki. This had naturally extended to his wedding and if Olivia hadn't stepped in he would have planned the whole thing. As it was he was catering the dinner, organized rides and had hosted the rehearsal dinner at their restaurant the night before.
But all of the nagging and tedious decisions and planning were in the past now. Today was the day and, truth be told, he couldn't wait.
"Momma, where's Nami? She's supposed to be doing my hair and makeup." Olivia called from the bathroom.
She had just stepped out of the shower and was wrapped in a fluffy terrycloth robe her dark green hair damp around her shoulders. She had gotten her nails done the night before and she carefully examined the French manicure. They still seemed foreign on her hands, as if it wasn't her own she were looking at. They were definitely coming off after today, she couldn't imagine trying to handle her katana with them on. But this evening wasn't about fighting, it was about her and Ryoki and for that she would gladly wear them.
"She just called to say she'll be here soon. Come have something to eat."
Olivia lifted her bangs with a puff of breath before leaving the bathroom. She was anxious, ready to have everything in place. She wanted to marry Ryoki, had wanted to for a long time now and their yearlong engagement – at Zoro's pleading – had lasted long enough. As she ate her mind drifted back to when they had first announced their engagement.
"Momma, daddy. We're engaged!" Olivia exclaimed with a grin.
She and Ryoki were met with ten pairs of shocked eyes boring into them from around the table. Her mother was the first to recover her lips curving into a knowing smile and Olivia realized she hadn't been as shocked as she had first assumed. The former archaeologist rose from her seat gracefully and came around the table to envelop her daughter in a warm hug. She was grateful for her mother's easy acceptance, Robin had probably knew Ryoki was going to ask before even he did but ever since Ryoki had asked the all important question it hadn't been her mother's reaction she had been worried about.
"Daddy?" she asked carefully.
She looked around her mother to meet her father's gaze, her grip tightening on Ryoki's hand. His thumb smoothed up and down on the back of her hand and she dared to hold her father's gaze. Zoro was staring at her blankly and she feared he had gone into shock. Calling for him again he shook his head and blinked, breaking whatever comatose trance he had fallen into. His eyes sparked and when they met hers again they were almost pleading. Or as close as Zoro got to pleading.
"You're too young, Livy. You can't be engaged."
"I'm 18, daddy and like it or not I am engaged. I love Ryoki and he loves me, how old we are isn't important."
Her words didn't seem to please her father but he acknowledged her commitment and she could tell that he would support her decision even if he wished it weren't happening. When she reminded him that it was only an engagement and they weren't getting married right off he seemed to relax and even offered his congratulations which was quickly followed by a threat to Ryoki to treat her right or else. Once Zoro accepted it everyone else freely offered their congratulations as if its existence was hinged on the legendary swordsman's reaction. Sanji grinned and immediately started to organize an engagement celebration at the restaurant. Olivia turned back to her fiancé, fiancé she had a fiancé, as the usual chatter resumed around them.
"I love you." She said softly, following it up with a quick kiss.
"Where's the princess of the day?" Nami called from the front of the house.
"In here, navigator-san." Robin answered.
The tangerine-haired mother followed Robin's voice into the kitchen where both Olivia and Robin still sat. Olivia smiled at Nami when she came in and held out her hands for the cursory inspection of her nails. Nami nodded, satisfied that her work was still intact and sat down with a smile as she accepted a cup of coffee from Robin.
"Excellent, when you're finished here we can get to work on your hair I want to blow it out to start with."
"Whatever you say oh wise one." Olivia replied, grinning as she did.
The three women sat and talked about what was left to be done as Olivia finished off her breakfast. The wedding ceremony didn't start until early evening but there were still lots to be done in preparation. She was glad Nami and her mum was here with her because without their expertise she would be sure to be panicking. As it were she could already feel the flutters of butterflies in her stomach. So many things could go wrong and she wanted it all to run smoothly. She wished she could run out to the dojo, go through some exercises but not only did she not have the time Nami was bound to kill her if she tried.
When Olivia finished eating she moved to her room with Nami to begin styling her hair. Robin had pressed a kiss to her cheek before rushing out to check up on set-up. The wedding was being held outside in a meadow behind Aesop's house and chairs and a canopy had to be put up. Nami ushered her into a seat in front of her mirror and started pulling various things out of the large bag she had with her. There were bottles and sprays of various sizes and a hair dryer that Usopp had rigged to dry faster and quieter. Rummaging through her products Nami pulled out a medium sized spray bottle and covered Olivia's hair in a fine mist of whatever it was. She didn't bother asking as she trusted the older woman and as long as it turned out looking good she didn't care.
"Nervous, Liv?" Nami asked softly.
"I trust you."
"That's not what I meant, sweetie." Nami replied with a roll of her eyes.
Olivia met her eyes in the mirror, chocolate cinnamon ones looking into the depths of her blue-green irises and seeing all the nerves and fear that lay beneath the surface. She nodded once.
"I've got just the thing. I'll be right back." Nami suddenly proclaimed.
The former navigator dashed down the hall and could be heard rummaging around in the kitchen opening drawers and the fridge. She wasn't gone long and when she returned she was carrying a small bowl a yellowish mixture inside. Olivia looked at it sceptically.
"I'm not eating that."
Nami just laughed and shook her head.
"It's not food, Liv. It's a facemask. Chopper and Sanji came up with recipe back when I was pregnant with Ryoki and stressing out a lot. It's very soothing and does wonders for your skin."
Olivia was still hesitant but allowed her godmother to spread a thick layer of the mixture over her face, being careful not to get any on her mouth or in her eyes. Whatever was in it, and she wasn't sure she wanted to know, it was cold and other than a faint smell of vanilla odourless.
"Now just close your eyes relax and let me work some magic."
Olivia did as she was told and before her hair was even half dry she felt calmer.
Ryoki pulled on the sleeve of his tuxedo nervously, resisting the urge to light a cigarette. He was under strict orders not to smoke until after the ceremony so as not to smell like the nicotine sticks. He had easily agreed to it when it had been suggested but he hadn't taken into consideration how nerve-racking it would be waiting for everything to start. The guests had arrived and the chairs were almost full, just the ones awaiting the immediate family left empty. Olivia and him and decided against a bridal party as choosing between their friends would simply be too difficult. Instead it would only be the two of them up at the front, standing under a wooden arch commissioned by Franky just for the occasion.
"Showtime, luv." His mother said, walking up to him.
"You look gorgeous, mum." Ryoki replied with a smile.
Maia wore a jade green halter dress, the bottom hem trailing down to the left on a diagonal from just above her knees. The thin material hugged her figure and around her neck were two strands of bronzed pearls making her skin appear even more tanned. She waved off the compliment but smiled lovingly and Ryoki had the feeling she was fighting off tears.
"Ready?" she asked.
Ryoki nodded and smoothing his tuxedo out one last time made his way to the bottom of the aisle. He saw Sanji leading Robin to her seat before taking his own and started his walk down the grass. When he got to the front he placed a kiss on his mother's cheek before stepping up to take his spot eyes immediately fixed to where Olivia would emerge. A signal was given and Brooke began to play the familiar tune as everyone stood, turning to be able to watch the bride enter. At his first glance his heart caught in his throat; she looked stunning.
Her wedding gown was a simple white halter with a fitted bodice. The skirt floated over her hips and down around her legs swishing slightly with every step. His eyes traveled up her body taking in the lightly tanned flesh that seemed to glow. Her dark green hair which was normally down straight or up in a ponytail cascaded around her shoulders in soft curls, framing her heart-shaped face. She wore minimal makeup, even on this day, and it was in natural tones simply highlighting the natural beauty she possessed. Her ears were adorned with simple gold loops and there was a pale lavender flower blossom in her ear. He had a matching blossom in the lapel of his jacket. She was a vision of beauty and grace as she glided down the aisle on her father's arm. Their eyes had locked as soon as she started to walk and they hadn't looked away yet. The blue-green irises were bright with emotion, the blue shining brighter than normal as a smile graced her rose-stained lips. He couldn't look away, wouldn't have been able to even if he had wanted, which he didn't. Not now, not ever.
She broke eye contact once they reached the end of the aisle, turning to Zoro with a loving smile. The swordsman had her hands in his, his grip tight and Ryoki could tell how hard it was for him to let his daughter go. His bride whispered something to her father and he chuckled before kissing both of her cheeks and finally releasing her hands. Their eyes met and he saw the message as clear as when he had spoken it over a year ago. You hurt her and you will regret it. Ryoki nodded imperceptibly to the other man before collecting the slender hand of his soon to be wife. As they both turned to face the priest he had a feeling that his life was just beginning.