A/N: Thank you for all your support, I'll include a longer author's note at the end. Please enjoy.
Warning: Spoilers ahead, read at your own risk.
Disclaimer: I don't own One Piece, why would I be writing fanfiction if I did?
Dedication: To my dearest brother, I added humor in this just to imagine you laugh. You always said my face was funny but my jokes weren't.
Chapter 13: I Can't Let you go, Even if I die
"Ugh!" Luffy spluttered as her body thrashed around wildly. She was doing everything in her power to stay above the water, but the Devil's fruit had left its curse and her body was sinking without her consent. Her lungs burned painfully as the salty sea made its way into her mouth. Had she not been so preoccupied trying to gain oxygen into her dying lungs, she would have realized the slight metallic taste the water held. Then suddenly she could breathe. She was heaving heavily trying to gain the courage to open her eyes, but she was so damn happy she could breathe again she could only force herself to clutch onto whatever saved her.
Small hands met fabric drenched in a sticky substance, it contrasted greatly with the silky coolness of the splashing waves. The odd sensation finally prompted her to open her eyes.
Red was everywhere.
The crimson color painted the surrounding water. It drenched the once crisp beige shirt she clung on to. It left stains on her small hands.
But more importantly it dripped from the area Shank's left arm should have been.
His shocking red hair almost blended with the morbid scene and all seven-year-old Luffy could do was scream with all the air her lungs had previously been deprived of.
She yelled until she thought her own throat would start bleeding. But, the man holding her said nothing as he maneuvered them to land.
He didn't weep. Nor did he look like he was in immediate pain. Had his arm not been missing Luffy would have thought the blood dripping from the torn shirt was a joke.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry… Oh God, your arm. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Shanks. I'm sorry." Luffy repeatedly cried out. Shanks said nothing but let a wobbly smile appear on his face.
When the two finally reached land the rest of Shanks' crew appeared along with worried townspeople and medics.
Everyone gasped seeing the two covered in blood, some even fainted at the sight of Shanks. His crew immediately surrounded their captain and Luffy was put into Makino's open arms.
It was only when Luffy was cradled against the older woman did Shanks fall to his knees. He was shaking, a deathly color found it's way to his drenched face and medics were rushing to stop the bleeding.
Makino trembled at the sight of the strongest Pirate she had ever seen looking so vulnerable. She held Luffy tighter, disregarding the fact that her own clothes were getting wet from Luffy's shivering figure.
"This is the worst injury I have ever seen. What happened?" A medic said to Shanks as he struggled to work faster.
"I protected her. It's not a big deal, so what if a Sea King ate my arm. No big deal." Shanks said almost eerily calmly.
His dark eyes never strayed from Luffy's fearful gaze."As long as she's safe, It wouldn't have mattered is I died."
"Because I protect the people I love. That's what being a captain means. To protect your crew and loved ones no matter what. Isn't that right, Anchor?" The red haired man whispered out before passing out, a serene smile etched on his face as the doctors heaved him up.
"Luffy … are you alright?" The small reindeer tentatively put a small brown hoof on his captain's leg.
Hearing her name Luffy promptly opened her hazy eyes. She scanned her surrounding looking for the crimson color that had haunted her memory.
She shivered as rain fell on her body from the open window she had earlier sat directly in front of. Chopper took this as a bad sign and immediately went on a rampage looking for a doctor, he had again forgotten he was the crew's medic.
"You've been all wobbly since we left town." Nami commented, reaching for the sack behind her.
"He's lost a lot of blood because of that bastard." Zoro reigned in the hate bubbling in his chest against the man who dared stab Luffy.
Green eyes flickered to Luffy's hunched up form before returning to Nami's worried gaze.
Suddenly a chicken leg was shoved into Luffy's hands and the Straw Hat Captain perked up at the sight of food.
"Luffy make sure to gain back your energy. You need it to face these monsters." Nami offered her captain a small smile.
"I'm just saying if we all ambush the creep together we might stand a chance!" Paulie's harsh voice made it's way to the remaining Straw Hat pirates.
"I'm not arguing with you, sheesh! I'm just trying to tell you that I want to get some of my punches in before we kill the fucker!" Zambai's deep voice shouted back.
"What are you two arguing about!" Nami fumed, preparing to launch herself at the two annoying men for not realizing the emotional moment her crew was experiencing.
Zambai grimaced, his big hands fiddled with the straps of his overalls. He suddenly didn't seem as scary or authoritative as Nami shouted at him.
"We were just arguing over who was gonna beat the shit out of the bastard who hurt us all! He is the one responsible for Franky-bro's kidnapping! As Franky's right hand man, I say that our family has the right to maul the bastard!" Zambai let out a shuddering breath as he received both Paulie and Nami's glare.
"I just told you! We don't stand a chance against him! He's stronger than all of us combined! Your family will be annihilated…if we all gang up then ah! That is a different story!" Paulie despite being injured animately explained.
Every passenger on the "runaway train" turned their heads to look at the source of the voice. Different pairs of eyes met a disheveled Luffy munching on the last piece of meat Nami offered her. She slowly stood up, her body stance threatening someone to defy her.
"I know you're strong kid. But Lucci is a different kind of enemy you may have encountered before. He's fucking evil. I'm not gonna' stand back while he destroys you." Paulie said, chewing his cigar's end.
"No." Luffy again said. This time it was a command.
"Fuck! Look, Straw Hat…" Paulie drawled out.
Zambai glared at Luffy through his one eye glass. He eyed the difference in stature between Paulie, Luffy and himself. The pirate looked relatively weak, even the green haired second-in-command looked stronger than him.
"No one is to touch Lucci. At all. He's mine." Luffy all but shouted.
Zoro growled deep in his throat, the Franky Family all jumped back a step they feared he was threatening them for trying to defy his captain. But, no. That was definitely not what Zoro was currently thinking.
'He's mine?' You've never laid claim on me! Zoro screamed in his mind. His grip tightening on his sword's hilt.
When Zoro finds Lucci he was going to have a field day! Oh yes he was! He was going to take the scrawny bastard and cut him into a trillion pieces until you couldn't even tell who the fuck he was. Zoro was fucking going to make origami with the bastard. A mad grin overtook the swordsman right then and there.
He had unfortunately missed the rest of Luffy's argument where she had made everyone submit to her will. And now he was stuck in a very baaaad position.
Normally if he was smirking to himself or laughing diabolically no one would say anything. That of course was because no one was there to see him do it… but this time everyone saw him grin like a mad man.
But, why oh dear reader would it matter that our poor swordsman was grinning evilly and everyone saw him?
a) Three very robust and practically naked women stood in front of him
b) All the other men including Zambai and Paulie were sporting huge nosebleeds, some even had fainted in a fit of joy.
c) Luffy saw him. Luffy fucking saw him. And that crazy person grin translated into a perverted leer in Luffy's chocolate eyes.
"Pervert!" Luffy shouted pointing an accusing finger at her previously most trusted crew member.
Fuck my life! Zoro thought as he tried to school his features back and attempt to explain to his captain who was mumbling about how what Ace said about lecherous men all suddenly made sense. Zoro didn't even have time to dwell on the fact that Luffy even knew what lecherous meant, as Nami and the two twin square sisters finally put on skimpy outfits claiming it was their battle clothes.
"You seem happy." Kalifa commented idly as she cleaned her perfectly manicured nails. Had she not been sporting matching outfits with the rest of the notorious CP9 ... she would have looked normal.
"Hmm" Lucci blandly stared back at the woman. She deserved none of his undivided attention, after all she was weak in his eyes.
"Stop bothering him, Kalifa. Do you want him to kill you too?" Kaku spoke from his seat, he pointed at the boy smothered beneath Lucci's dress shoes.
Usopp yelped. Sanji was in back of him but he stood no chance against Lucci or any of the people in this train cart.
Lucci dug his foot deeper into Usopp's back, waiting to hear a crack or something of the nature.
"Leave him alone! Y-you said if I came with you, you wouldn't hurt any of the Straw Hat Pirates!" Robin's normally stoic voice shouted full of worry for her ex-crew member. She was restraint by Blueno and sea stone shackles otherwise she might have been able to free Usopp.
Lucci's smirk increased.
"But he followed you, I never said anything about not hurting them if they willingly followed you. After all he's trying to break a prisoner free. He's trying to set a horrendous women like you free on the world."
"Leave the kid alone, I'll go with you." Franky's voice thundered, he quikly snatched Usopp's arm and traded places with the masked boy.
"Wait! I'm not Usopp, I'm not a Straw Hat! I'm Sogeking!" Usopp's cries were muffled by Sanji. The cart the two males were in was suddenly separated, Franky having risked his life to protect the two from CP9.
"Tell your captain I'm waiting for him." Lucci suddenly spoke, his smile a sadistic leer.
"Is that why your happy?" Kalifa started again "You have a new boy toy?" She was almost going to start shrieking in laughter when Lucci gave her a piercing glare.
"Don't talk to me." He leaned in close to the blond "I don't mind killing you." Kalifa was left white as a sheet pushing her glasses up in a nervous reflex.
"What did I tell you." Kaku commented
"Oh, Shut it!"
"She's being blackmailed, Robin still cares for us! The CP9 has something on her… something that would make her leave us… All I know is that, that piece of shit told her her biggest crime was existing and that as soon as the government was done with her he would have the pleasure of killing her!" Sanji rambled on, seething as he remembered how Blueno had practically flung Robin to the side after they had tried to escape with her.
"Sogeking" and Sanji had finally made their way to the rest of the crew after their failed mission. But now they were all looking forward to taking on the CP9 and bringing Robin home.
"I'm just saying… because of the blackmail… she's not going to come with us so willingly. I mean Usopp- argh…. Sogeking almost had her with us but she refused to put us in danger." Sanji finished his tale and promptly took a cigarette from his coat pocket to drown his sorrows.
"I don't care. We're getting her back." Luffy confidently stated
"We have to be careful their headed to Enis Lobby. Past that is the headquarters for the friggin' World Government. There's tons on navy officers crawling. We might seriously die ya' know." Paulie shouted as he prepared his weapons for battle.
"DIE?" Chopper, Nami, and Usopp all wailed.
Luffy simply smiled looking at all her allies.
"It's okay to die… as long as you protect those ya lurv!" Granny Kokoro suddenly said out of nowhere.
Everyone turned in surprise to see the older woman come out of thin air. What was more surprising was that her grandchild and the pet "cat" were with her. Didn't they know they were going to a dangerous battle?
Sanji's blue eyes met Luffy's dark orbs, she immediately flashed him a toothy grin.
The words were unsaid but they were understood.
Don't Die, Luffy.
"Then I leave the rest of the plan to you guys, I'm out!" Luffy suddenly said as she disappeared from sight once their destination was spotted.
"Did he even listen to the plan? He wasn't suppose to- oh fuck it!" Paulie shouted
"It's unheard of a single man making it all the way to the steps of the World Government without a scratch on him. You should be dead." Blueno struggled to get up after Luffy delivered a punch to his abdomen.
"Really! That's such a compliment~! Means' I'm strong!" Luffy giggled
"You shouldn't even be able to keep up with my speed… No wonder Lucci has taken a liking to you… ha!" Blueno mumbled, picking himself up. "Too bad that bastard pisses everybody off, So i guess your journey ends here."
"Noooo, I think you got that wrong." Luffy's carefree smile morphed into a confident grin. "You see… when I was defeated by Aokoji… I realized there were tons of guys as strong no… even stronger than him in the world. I'm a pirate. A Pirate Captain. My nakama is strong. But I want to protect them, now I can't go dying on them can I?" Luffy glared murderously at the bigger man. "I have to be stronger than everyone else in the whole wide world to protect them. So I thought of a way to become stronger. No one, not you or Lucci will kill them."
Blueno stared as Luffy's rubber limbs started to release smoke. She was turning into a searing red color, it looked painful and unnatural.
In a matter of seconds Blueno stood no chance against Luffy's newfound strength, he was out cold on the floor as soon as she deliver a well aimed punch to his face.
"Ahhh! I'm dead tired~!" Luffy looked at her hands wearily, noticing the power she recently tried out on Blueno. Her stomach suddenly lurched and she had to double over to stop herself from throwing up the contents of her stomach.
"Weak." She shuddered hugging herself with clammy hands "I guess my body hasn't gotten used to this yet. Well… I don't really care about my body right now." She stood up orienting herself on the roof of the courthouse leading to where the navy was probably holding Robin captive.
The words on the next building over read in bold blue letters: "WORLD GOVERNMENT"
Luffy stood at the tip of the roof, surveying her surrounding. Directly below her she could make out her crew along with Paulie and the Franky Family, they were fighting hundreds of navy officers with some difficulty. All of this madness had to be stopped. All Luffy had to do was get Robin back.
"Because I protect the people I love. That's what being a captain means. To protect your crew and loved ones no matter what. Isn't that right, Anchor?"
Even if Robin didn't want to be saved. Luffy was going to save the older woman no matter what.
"You didn't want to be save in Alabasta either Robin! You think this little incident gonna stop me! Yeah riiighht~!" Luffy told herself
She cupped her hands on the sides of her mouth, creating an imprompt loudspeaker. Taking a deep breath she let her voice carry to the next building over. The floor rumbled and suddenly her nakama stood with her, all ready to defy the government. Luffy let out a booming war cry.
Luffy clutched with small hands the Straw Hat on her head. It was too big for her and ended up tilting to cover her face. That was fine by her, after all she was bitting her lip and sniffling trying to keep her tears in. She didn't want Shanks to see her like that, not after what he had done for her. She wanted to be greatfull, send him off with a smile. But instead she was sniffling like a small baby.
"Keep it" Shank's normally clear booming voice sounded raspy.
Luffy couldn't look up, she didn't want to see Shank's missing limb. She bit her lip harder.
The red haired pirate patted the beaten hat on Luffy's head, he suddenly pulled away and turned to walk towards the dock.
"I'm going to become a pirate." Luffy squeaked out.
"To get my arm back?" Shanks turned the horrible occurrence into a small joke.
"To make sure no one… has to lose an arm for me again… To be strong." She whispered out the last part.
"You could do that by joining the navy." Shanks said, his heavy boots sounding far away as he kept on moving.
Luffy ran to him, chasing him with small legs.
"Grandpa won't let me… But he can't stop me from being a pirate! I'll become so strong even he won't stop me! I'll become better than you! Because being a pirate is better!" the small girl shouted pulling on Shanks cape begging him to stop. "I'll be Pirate King! I'll make all the Sea Kings my friends to make sure they never eat someones arm ever again. I'll travel the world! And get the bestest nakama in the planet! I'll… I'll…" She trailed off.
"Then you have to make sure you won't die." shanks turned to the girl and gave her a smile. "I'l be waiting for you."
Shanks is waiting for me… No… No… That's not right… Robin is. I need… to save her. Save Robin. Save my Nakama. Luffy rambled in her foggy mind.
I let Franky run after her. He's waiting for me too. Spandam, that bastard is taking Robin away… Taking her to the Gates of Justice… I promise to save her. I need to get up, I need to leave.
"Robin" Luffy croaked out.
"Thats the wrong name to be crying out during a time like this, Straw Hat." A slick almost sickening voice caressed Luffy's ear.
Snapping her eyes open, she saw how close the mad man had gotten to her in a span of seconds. A clawed hand traced a line on Luffy's jaw. It burned for a moment and suddenly blood started to seep from the small wound. It made Lucci's smirk widen.
"Should I cry your name then?" Luffy spat, gaining some distance away from the monster as she jumped to her feet.
Luffy's eyes darted all over Lucci's body. He was a monster. He had eaten a Devil's Fruit. But unlike her's where she didn't transform into a ball of rubber, he had completely transformed into a tall horribly strong leopard.
"Well frankly… that would be wonderful." Lucci spoke and Luffy's skin goose bumped."After all… you should credit the man who will kill you."
"Second Gear" Luffy suddenly shouted, preparing herself to use the deathly move once again.
"Ahhh. No that won't do. That move you keep on using against me… it's bad for your heart Strawhat-kun… and I would very much prefer squeezing that heart of yours myself than letting you destroy yourself. You do know… what your doing lessens your lifespan."
"Shut up." Luffy countered, steam coming off her body
"You won't be able to beat me. Don't you realize, you idiot." Lucci growled out
"Shut up!" Luffy shouted launching herself towards the leopard man.
The building rumbled and water started to enter through the cracks.
"You felt that? That's the start of the Buster Call. The navy is going to destroy everyone here. Except me of course, but that's only because no one can kill me." Lucci used his speed to avoid Luffy's attacks.
"I thought you were better than this. You got me exited for nothing." Lucci managed to get close to Luffy again to shove her almost tauntingly.
"Let me show you something better then." Luffy moved away bending down into the 'Gear Second Stance'
"As your power increases your speed decreases huh?" Lucci smiled cruelly as he avoided an attack and shoved Luffy to the floor.
He hadn't noticed the brute strength put into the attack and when her arm ricocheted he was hit and sent flying through a wall onto a navy warship.
The ship was promptly destroyed being part of the Buster Call. Spandam had ordered the complete destruction of Enis Lobby and if the meant the navy ships around it so be it.
Lucci promptly returned to Luffy.
She had crouched and was preparing to attack again.
"Your going to die using that power." Lucci sneered.
"I don't care what happens to me afterwords but as long as you are here I won't stop using it." Luffy boldly stated through clenched teeth.
"But I already told you. Your death belongs to me." And suddenly Lucci delivered one of the strongest blows directly to Luffy's chest causing her to fly and hit a partially destroyed wall.
Her mouth suddenly opened and she couldn't stop the flow of blood.
She was on the floor, gasping and wheezing. The taste of metal deep in her mouth. She almost felt like she could spit out her heart.
It hurt so fucking bad.
The wall next to her was suddenly blasted open by a cannonball.
The navy's loudspeakers were on and everyone could hear it: "Our prime target is Straw Hat Luffy, don't let him leave here alive."
"You heard the order." Lucci said as he delivered a blow the the already weakend pirate.
Her body failed on her. She couldn't move, all she could do was lay on the cool tile, her blood spurting from her mouth. Her muscles spasmed, her eyes drooped.
She was going to die.
From the destroyed Wall the rest of the crew standing on the bridge could see Luffy and Lucci's fight go down.
Robin had already been safely brought back by Franky and although they were all surrounded they were fighting as a team. Navy officers everywhere thought the whole crew fought with a fierceness that matched the Captain's.
"Luffy!" Sogeking suddenly shouted, he ran to the edge of the bridge, spotting Luffy's beaten figure.
"Z-Zoro! S-Sanji! Anybody! Help h-him!" The cowardly boy shouted pointing to the bloodied captain.
The rest of the crew couldn't move as they tried to protect themselves from navy officers out for their lives.
Damn it! Luffy you aren't going to die! Zoro mentally told himself as he stabbed the flocks of enemies. You're strong. You're not going to die. He didn't kill you. He can't.
"Luffy, what are you doing?" Usopp dropped his mask and let tears flow freely "Get up! Get up! You're not going to die!"
Lucci moved towards Usopp slowly, Luffy at his feet unmoving.
"Don't touch him. Don't you dare touch Usopp." Luffy weakly said as she stretched a hand to cling onto Lucci's pant leg.
"You're already dying. I need to complete my mission and kill everybody here." Lucci all but purred.
"Luffy! Get up! This isn't the worse thing! This isn't hell! After this we can go home together! We'll make you Pirate King! Just GET UP!" Usopp shouted at the top of his lungs
Luffy smile and staggered but slowly stood, her blood rushing to her ears.
"If I die, I'm taking you with me... Lucci."
And the battle again begun.
A few seconds latter Luffy was sent flying through the crumbled room, Lucci had used the same attack. He had hit the same exact spot. Luffy didn't immediately collapse to the ground, she had to get one last hit in.
"Jet Gatling!" She almost weakly shouted as she sent Lucci flying.
It was only when she didn't see him get back up that her body fell to the ground.
She could hear the loudspeaker go off: "CP9's Lucci is defeated!"
Everything hurt. She didn't even want to attempt breathing if it would stop the insane burning. Blood matted her face, and it was freaking everywhere. Luffy vaguely wondered if the accomplished feeling settling in her chest was what Shanks felt as he saved her from that Sea King.
At least she died saving Robin and the rest of her nakama. Too bad Ace would probably be pissed.
"Ace…" Luffy mumbled, tears pricking her eyes.
"Luffy! You won!" she heard Usopp shout "Get up! Let's go!"
The loudspeaker went off again: "Straw Hat Luffy is fatally wounded, finish the job Lucci couldn't accomplish."
Everyone turned their head sharply to stare at Luffy's beaten body.
"Luffy…? Why aren't you getting up?" Usopp shouted again
"Luffy! Please… please GET UP!" Nami shrieked next to the long nose boy.
Soon the rest of the crew was on the edge of the bridge encouraging Luffy to get up
"Luffy, your strong! Come on! Get over here!" Sanji shouted his blue eyes swimming with worry
"Captain-san!" Robin yelled "I can't use my powers to get him, I'm weakend too… If I reach out I'll end up dropping him in the ocean…"
"Luffy… FUCK! GET UP! DON'T PLAY FUCKING GAMES HERE. GET THE FUCK UP NOW!" Zoro suddenly panicked, raising his voice higher than anyone had heard him do before.
Slowly, almost painfully so Luffy tuned her head to face them. Her face was scrunched up in pain.
"I-I can't move." She managed to raise her voice for them to hear.
"Someone! Anybody Save him! Please!" Nami shouted shaking Sanji and Zoro furiously
"We can't get over there!" Zoro shouted angry at himself for letting her get so hurt.
"Robin can't get her either!" Sanji muttered angrily.
"I'm going to die here." The crew turned to see a smiling Luffy. "It's okay, you guys can escape."
"No, no, no…. NO! We won't leave you here!" Zoro shouted his hands griping the hilts of his swords. What good were his swords now if he couldn't even get to the other side to get her?
"Ne… It's been fun. Really. I love all of you guys." Luffy mumbled through heavy lidded eyes.
Everyone had tears in their eyes, Franky especially couldn't believe Luffy was giving up so easily.
"Zoro…" Green eyes met chocolate "Can you tell my brother, I'm sorry but I wouldn't have listened to him anyways." She grinned.
"You… you… you're going to tell him yourself you hear! You're not going to die, you idiot!" Zoro came close to tears.
"Robin dump him into the ocean." Usopp suddenly shouted.
"What? Are you trying to kill him faster?" Nami throttled Usopp
"Just do it! Trust me! Everyone jump! Jump into the ocean! Merry has come to save us!" As soon as those words slipped form his mouth Going Merry really did appear.
"Merry has come to save us!" The crew members shouted.
"You're not going to die!" Zoro finally yelled as Robin deposited her on Merry's deck.
The swordsman lifter her head into his lap.
"You're never going to die." Robin beat Zoro to what he wanted to say.
"Thank you, Strawhat-san for saving me. Thank you." Tears were in her eyes as Luffy managed to put on one last smile before blacking out.
"Let us meet the pirates!"
"Let us see our saviors!"
"Please just let us apologize for calling them assassins!"
"Let us take pictures with them!"
"Neh! I hear all the men on the crew are total hotties, please let me get their phone numbers before they leav! Mou!"
"Let the heroes comment!"
The townspeople of Water Seven flocked to the city's headquarters. They all wanted to thank the Straw Hat Crew for all that they did for their town. So when the few remaining shipwrights, among them Paulie, tried to restraint them a mob formed and tried to claw its way inside.
"Is Straw Hat Luffy In here?" A gruff powerful voice spoke. The mob immediately parted like the Red Sea.
"Y-You! You're a marine!" The townspeople tried to block the way when they regained their senses.
"He's Garp! One of the only people to have face Gold Roger!"
"There's no pirates here no sir!"
"Only Iceberg our wonderful mayor is up ahead! You don't need to go in!"
"No! Someone stop him!"
Zoro who had been passing saw the commotion. His sharp eyes spotted the marine flag on the ship and he sprinted to where Luffy was. The marines are still fucking after her!
"I have some business with that pirate, so everyone please move." The old but still threateningly powerful marine said to the people. Two men followed him carefully, a flock of navy soldiers behind them.
"He's still out cold… It's worrying me." Nami softly spoke to Sanji at her side.
All the blond cook could do was swallow the lump in his throat and walk to the kitchen. He had a feast laid out in the dinning table, ready for when his captain woke up.
"Chopper… is he going to be okay?" Nami again spoke rather quietly, it was uncharacteristic for her to do so.
"Well I treated him the best I could, Robin helped me a lot since we have so many injured people around… she was the one who really patched up Luffy." The small reindeer answered pressing some ice to Luffy's forehead.
"He's going to be fine, Navigator-san. You know he likes to replenish his energy through food and sleep." Robin cooly stated.
Sanji let out a sigh, grimacing as he remembered that as soon as the crew had gotten back, Zoro wouldn't leave Luffy's side… now he was no where to be seen. He didn't know why it bothered him so much. But the feeling dwelling in his chest was getting uncomfortable.
He was about to ask Chopper to re-examine him for any sickness when the wall shattered exposing the room they were in to the outside world. A lone marine stood in midst of the rubble.
The cracking of knuckles brought everyone to battle stances. Sanji crushed his cigarette in his mouth, Nami fingered her Clima-tact, Chopper turned into his "human form," Robin crossed her arms willing her powers to wake up. Franky burst in through a door his arm transformed into a cannon, he had just come to give them the good news about the ship he was building for the pirate crew when the marine had entered town.
"Is Monkey D. Luffy here?" Garp's deep tenor voice resound throughout the room.
"What do you want with our captain?" Sanji shouted, his blue eye piercing the officers with a glare.
Before anyone could even move Garp was next to Luffy's bed. His dark eyes lingered on Luffy's injured face before a hand came to clutched Luffy's shirt. He raised her into a sitting position on the bed, and before Sanji or Robin could even utter a threat, he slapped her across the face.
Luffy woke up, eyes darting all over the place. Was she still in danger? Had Lucci finally come to finish the job?
She was on the ground a shadow looming over her.
Another blow was bitterly delivered across her face as soon as she dared look up.
"Wat the hell have you been doing, Luffy?" Garp's voice came down on her like a bucket of ice water. The older man's hand was still raised, and he intended to bring it down on Luffy again.
"Don't you ever fucking touch her again!" Ace's voice squawked. He was in his pre-teen years and his voice didn't hold the manly authority he wanted but that didn't faze him form protecting the small girl behind him.
Luffy hiccuped cradling her injured cheek with one hand , the other furiously wiping tears.
"If I ever see you even touch her I will kill you." Ace spoke to the much older man with determination in his eyes. He didn't care if the man was years older and much bigger anybody who hurt Luffy was dead meat.
"Ace-nii… don't…" Luffy managed to say though a swollen cheek.
"I won't let him take you from me!" Ace shouted pulling Luffy close to him
"Ace you are the one leaving. I want to take you with me to headquarters. Wouldn't that be nice? Training with me?" The older man spoke up.
"Then why can't I take Luffy? Why are you abandoning her again!" Ace shouted at the top of his lungs
"Luffy is a girl! She needs to know her place! She needs to stop entertaining these foolish ideas!" The man shouted back his hands in fists. "I'm just teaching my granddaughter a lesson."
"Jii-chan?" Luffy shouted clumsily getting away from Garp. Her legs were wobbly but her determination to get away from her grandfather was bigger than her pain.
"Jii-chan?" Sanji, Chopper, Nami and Franky simultaneously shouted, Robin only glared.
"Sir…" A voice came from the hole in the wall.
"Luffy! Marines are after you!" Zoro shouted and suddenly swords were being brought down to attack him. It was the same person who had addressed Garp before, along with his companion.
A blur of yellow, pink and green fought momentarily before Zoro pushed them both to the side.
"Who the fuck are you two…" Zoro seethed
"Petty Officers!" Garp shouted an order to stop their shenanigans and get in the small room.
Garp turned back to Luffy.
"Let me rephrase my question, Luffy. What the hell are you doing here?"
"Ehehe… um… learning how to swim?" Luffy laughed out nervously, her crew turning to look at her suspiciously.
Another slap was directed to her face, Luffy dodged only to be brought into a bone crushing hug.
She saw Zoro reaching for his swords again and the rest of the crew reach for their weapons. "No, you guys don't fight him. Seriously… he's not someone even I can fight." Luffy mumbled as she fought to be released from her grandfather's odd way of showing love.
"I look away for one second and you turn into a fucking pirate!" Garp swung Luffy in his arms, as if she was nothing but a small child. "Do you know how scared I was when I find out from Aokoji that he's met you! And that you friggin declared war on the world government just to get Nico Robin back! Are you insane? Where's Ace? Hmm? He's with you, show him to me so I can beat his brains in. How dare he let my precious grand…" At that moment Garp remembered exactly why he was so angry in the first place.
Turning he walked towards the pink haired Petty Officer and dragged him towards Luffy.
"I hear you two met." Garp suddenly explained a glint in his eyes.
"Ah! Luffy-san! It's so nice to meet you again!" The pink haired boy exclaimed, extending his hand towards the pirate captain in a greeting.
"Who are you?" Every pirate in the room deadpanned.
"I'm… Coby?" The boy answered
"No… Coby is my friend… he's shorter than me… and has these really big glasses… and kinda looks dorky. Hey Zoro you remember Coby right? No way this guy is him, ne?" Luffy looked at the boy up and down finding no resemblance to the boy she first met as a pirate.
"I changed a lot! I joined the navy along with Helmeppo over there! You know Ax Hand Morgan's son... The one who tried to kill you guys?" The supposed Coby answered confidently, his eyes glancing back to Garp to see what his mentor would say.
"Ohhhh yeah! Man, you changed A LOT!" Luffy finally smiled.
"Well now that you are all catches up… I would like to announce that this is your fiancé, Luffy." Garp said rather quickly but everyone caught the statement.
Eyes bulged out, mouths dropped to the floor, Coby fought a furious blush and Zoro looked positively deadly.
"Guess that means you gotta go back home and raise a family now right?" Garp continued.
"BUT I'M A BOY!"
"BUT HE'S A BOY!"
"YOU WANT HIM TO MARRY A GUY?"
"WHAT KIND OF FUCKED UP FAMILY IS THIS!"
"HOW THE HELL IS HE SUPPOSE TO POP OUT A KID?"
"Sir… You never said anything about this before!" Coby stuttered out glancing at Luffy and the blond cook and swordsman.
"Well you know at my age I forget things." Garp grinned madly. He was going to get Luffy back even if it killed him.
How the hell does anybody believe Luffy's a boy? Garp thought grimly. He glanced at Luffy and Coby and suddenly shouted so the whole navy flock outside and some townspeople could hear. "I now pronounce you man… and well… man! You may kiss the urgh… groom!"
"Did he just do a shotgun wedding right in front of us?" Nami shrieked
Zoro and Sanji circled Coby the threat clear: Kiss her and you'll die slowly!
Luffy stormed out of the room telling the rest of the crew to follow her. She was not marrying Coby just to become some damn Navy wife!
Garp smiled and turned telling them to get back to their ship.
"You're not serious are you? I mean… Luffy and me?" Coby tried to wrap his head around the idea of what just happened.
"Of Course I am! I just need to get her signature on this document" Garp laughed out as he held a marriage contract in his hands. "After all it'll be pretty easy to get you to sign it." His tone was cold all of a sudden.
And so the chase to get Luffy to sign a marriage contract was on.
A/N: This... I think is the longest chapter I've written. And I'm proud of it. It took a long way to get here. I... well all of you know my circumstances. And I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. I'm truthfully grateful. Some of you guys shared your stories of loss with me, some even offered moral support, others pm'd me. I'm sorry that I disappeared from the face of the earth. I needed time. Some people may not understand... I know a lot of people from school didn't but when you loose someone like a sibling it hurts really badly. I hated going to school after the incident. I hated my life. It was horrible, all the sympathetic glances from teachers and all the sneers from kids who thought I was nothing but a crybaby. I got into a fight with a girl who thought I was trying to steal her boyfriend when he simply was hugging me because I was so fucking sad that day and he was just being a good friend. I hated people for a while after that.
But... I'm back. I'm not going to say I'm better. That would be a complete lie. I don't think I'll ever be completely better. I miss him like crazy everyday and whenever i even step into a hospital I feel like my life is ending all over again. My family is trying to heal. I'm trying to heal. And i figured writing made me happy. So here I am. This story has finally turned one, I missed it's anniversary ... but I hope you guys will continue reading. Seriously, all of you guys are awesome. Staying with me a whole year? Helping me during this time. I love all of you. I wish I could give you all hugs, I'm a glomping machine. But enough of this long author note, I hope to see you guys in the near future. Stay safe and well.
On a side note I'm thinking of starting up a new One Piece fanfic... it'll be AU... asylum themed... look out for it... m'kay. Bies! For real this time...