Author's notes: For naye's July '10 One Piece Chaos thread at Livejournal, story 3 of 3 for that thread, a one-shot for the prompt "Dream". Also found at Livejournal and Deviant Art; please see my profile for those links.
One Piece © Oda Eiichiro, etc.
She had been down this hall a billion times. It was right next to the courtyard where most of the young male Marines tried to show off to one another, and catch the attention of any non-Marine females that passed by. But she kept her head forward, determined to walk on by, since she was on what she felt was her own mission. Quickly her yellow dress flowed behind her, her sky-blue shoes were clicking on the concrete, and in her hands a pink box holding a birthday cake she made all by herself that she was going to deliver to her friend. If she could spin – like she very much wanted to, being so excited – she would have looked like a flower. She even smelled like one, and that was attracting the attention of many of the men in the courtyard, along with the clicking of her heels.
But that wasn't what initially caught his attention. No one other than Monkey D. Garp could miraculously smell the distinct scent of cake, and icing, and iced-cake, in the far end of a huge courtyard, and that sent his nose, stomach, and heart into overdrive. He loved cake (he loved food) and immediately he began searching the courtyard for its source. An unusual clicking to his right did catch his attention and, looking that way, he noticed a pretty girl with a box – a cake box – walking off in the distance. And, before he knew it, he was starting after her.
From behind she heard a commotion, and turning around she noticed a black-haired Marine fumbling over everyone and thing and making his way towards her with the most determined, befuddling look on his face. (At least, he looked absolutely nothing like any of the other men who've tried following her when she walked down that hall; most of whom looked like smug, strutting peacocks, and that wasn't attractive. But this was cute.) She smiled, giggled, ducked her head, turned back around and started on her way again. But that didn't stop him. There was cake... and a pretty girl. (And cake.)
Tsuru was threatening him. Tsuru was threatening him, and this time she really meant it. Her finger was stabbing into his chest. He imagined if she stabbed any harder, she would seriously be physically stabbing him with her finger.
"If you hurt her," she said, "If you hurt her. She has been my best friend for many years, and if you hurt her." Tsuru's gaze was almost so fierce, Garp then started thinking if it were any more he would burst into flames. "How she loves an idiot like you, I don't know, but she does, and she's happy. And if you hurt her – if you don't go through with this and you hurt her – I will send you to the bottom of the ocean, and I will make sure every long-range, explosive weapon in our arsenal is aimed at you there."
There were clothes strewn all over the place. When Garp got off work, sometimes he just wanted to be out of his work clothes so badly, he didn't care where he took them off. But she didn't care, either.
"Daddy's home," she whispered into the ear of the baby sleeping over her shoulder, as she started her way upstairs.
There was a loud snoring coming from their bedroom. Quietly she made her way into the room, as to not wake the noise-maker or their baby, and put the baby into his crib. 'My two men,' she thought. She then had to fight everything in her to stop from making childish squealing noises and flailing about at the thought of the two men she loved most, and turned to look at the snoring monster on their bed. He was spread out across it, even taking up her half of the bed, and making such a noise it was amazing the house wasn't rattling (or that he wasn't waking the baby).
Smiling, she walked over to the bed and climbed in. "Welcome home," she said, kissing Garp on the cheek, and he pulled her tightly into an unconscious hug.
When he woke up, the room was cold. He looked up at the ceiling and wish he had never woken up at all, or like he should have never fallen asleep in the first place.
His room and bed were empty, aside for himself, but there was no noise coming from downstairs or in the hall. There was no smell of breakfast wafting upstairs. No laughter or singing, and even Dragon must be in his room, just, being quiet.
Neither of them wanted to move. Neither of them wanted to get up. Garp wanted to go back to sleep and stay asleep, but now that he was awake he found he couldn't. He laid there, his arms spread across the bed, and there was no one to hold in them. No one to touch. No warmth at all except under where he laid.
He had stayed up most the night afraid to go to sleep, and now that it's morning he's found himself awake as usual even though she hadn't woken him. It was the first time in such a long time, since before he was married, he had woken up in his own house and she wasn't there with him.
Garp didn't quite know what to do. He couldn't quite believe what was going on; what had just happened. What he had just been told. What he had just seen. While a serious crime by itself, and nobody was taking it overly seriously since this guy was just a "small fry", his son had just declared war on the government, and it was decided for him that he had no son named Dragon at all.
Roger had asked him to do this. Any woman associated with him would no doubt be killed, and the mother of his child, at that! His child, at that...
This woman, Rouge, had prolonged her pregnancy well after Roger had died. She had held out to the very end, just long enough to hug her child and name him, and she died.
Now Garp and this baby, Ace, were on their way to East Blue. He'll raise him at home. Of course, he can't stick around as much; he doesn't need everyone getting suspicious, and everyone realizing he – the Great Hero of the Marines – was taking care of the Child of the World's Late Great Criminal.
He'll leave him with Dadan, far away from the reaches of those who'd want to hurt him, and he'll grow up to be a great, strong Marine.
Ace was kinda cute, sleeping and drooling in his arms.
And now it's Dragon. He's back. The government forbade Garp from seeing him, but like that would happen. And this time, he is with a woman, and she's pregnant.
Since it's still known that Garp has a son, although nobody knows what his name is, this child didn't have to hide as much... another Monkey in town, and no one will know. (Not like he's going to tell his superiors anyway.)
This one'll be a good, strong Marine, too.
"Throwing your grandchild into a jungle and leaving him with mountain bandits is not smart, Garp!" Whoopslap yelled at him. But Garp was tugging away Luffy by his now-stretchy ear, and there was nothing his grandson could do about it.
'Consorting with pirates, honestly...' Garp thought. "You'll be a good Marine, you hear me, a good Marine!"
He had just sat down at his desk when he noticed someone had left the morning's paper on it. Picking it up, he almost burst a blood vessel, lost an eye, choked on his cracker, and had a heart attack, all at one time. "Portgas D. Ace" was now a wanted pirate.
Three years later, and it was the same damn thing with his grandson Luffy. (Only this time he spilt scalding hot tea all over himself, instead of choking on a cracker.)
And now he's sitting here in his chair, leaning back with his eyes closed; his door locked. He didn't want any more time to pass. He wanted it all to freeze. He wanted it all to stop. He didn't want to open his eyes and he did not want to wake up. Again, he did not want to wake up. It was all happening, exactly like he didn't want.
Unless by some miracle, some fleeting, impossible chance, at 3 o'clock today, they will be executing one of his grandsons. The other one, he was informed, shouldn't live much past the day, either.