For a while now, both Bones and His Heir have been haunting me.
I wasn't happy with plot choices I have made in the past, despite it being two to four years ago. I have learned that if I'm not happy with something, then why not just…redo it. Therefore, I made a list of things that I wanted to change and spend months doing just that.
A fair warning, however, for those that are new to the series. I know there has been more development regarding Law's past in One Piece, but for the plot of my original story I'm keeping to my guns on what I created. I have altered and adapted with the new information; some things will be canon…yet others will not.
Though, I still hope that you all will enjoy. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece, but plot and OCs are mine.
Chapter 1: Fly, My Pretty, Fly!
The sky was a pure shade of cobalt, and framed perfectly by the lifeless silk curtains of the window. The humidity was intense and she wiped the back of her hand across her brow, groaning at the unbearable heat. Maybe the other women of Amazon Lily could handle the weather, but she would never get used to it; hopefully she wouldn't have to. She closed her eyes in thoguht. She'd just have to wait until Luffy returned.
The chaotic life surrounding the Straw Hats never ceased, even when they had made it to Sabaody Archipelago, the last island before the New World. Everything was a downward spiral when they reached that island: kidnappings, marines, warlords and then separation.
The cyborg that they had confronted at Thriller Bark, the Shichibukai Kuma, used his devil fruit powers to scatter the crew, making each and every one of them disappear without a trace. The only reason she was still with Luffy was because he grabbed a hold of her, screaming at the top of his lung he wasn't going to lose the last of his friends.
After that, everything was a blur.
The next thing she knew, her captain was gone and she was surrounded by a strange group of intimidating women.
They were all dressed for the harsh heat: lightly and with barely anything. They had warm expressions on their features, yet the boa-constrictors around their necks made her wary. When she timidly asked about her captain's whereabouts, they were kind of enough to explain the story, and what a story it had been.
Then she was torn from the memories as a frown pulled at the corner of her lips. "I hope he's alright…" she murmured. She couldn't even begin to imagine what was going through Luffy's head…wherever he was.
A sigh rolled past her lips and she walked away from the window to sit on the edge of the closest bed. She leaned forward, elbows propped up on bare knees and she cradled her pink tinted cheeks in her hands. Staring at the ornate copper amulet dangling from her neck, her mind went blank when it drifted off into darkness, but then the screams from the window reeled her back into reality.
Her head snapped up and she dashed to the window once more, leaning over the railing to see a stamped sprinting down the road below. The women of Amazon Lily clogged the streets, fevered grins on their lips as all the women traveled in the same direction to the gated bay.
Her brows furrowed in confusion. She had no idea what the women were even saying through the muddled conglomeration of joyful shrieks.
The door to the bedroom swung open, her attention turning to the slim blonde standing in the entrance. The girl was out of breath, one hand clinging to the doorknob while her free one swiped away the sweat that accumulation under her blonde bangs. There was an excited gleam in her amber eyes as she looked up, even the snake wrapped scarf-like around her neck looked blissfully happy.
Ameria leaned back into the room, her brow rising in curiosity. "Marguerite?"
"Princess is back!" Marguerite smiled brightly and she turned to leave, waving a hand over her shoulder. "Come on!"
Ameria's eyes opened wide; that could mean Luffy had returned as well. Without delay, she followed Marguerite into the city's massive hoard that ran to greet their returning princess.
She blended in with the crowd since she was dressed like the other women. A long flowing brown cape covered her shoulders, the fabric fluttering behind her as she ran, and she wore a bikini top with a purple and white tribal design and matching skirt that Marguerite allowed her to borrow since her old clothes had be ripped to tatters. The breeze created from the sprint was welcomed by her exposed skin, especially in such smoldering weather.
The run began to slow as the pack of women filed into the stadium rows on either side of the gate that barred the entrance to the Amazon Lily's bay. Marguerite grabbed Ameria by the hand, guiding her through the crowds as she shouted familiar names.
"Sweet Pea! Aphelandra!"
The two women down at the front row turned around when they heard their names. The tall amazon Aphelandra grinned happily, the glare off the top of her hat like a beacon in the sunlight and she waved towards them as Marguerite and Ameria got closer. Then the large amazon known as Sweet Pea nodded with a smirk, taking a step to the side to allow Marguerite and Ameria a place to stand among the packed crowd.
"Where is the princess?" Marguerite asked, scanning the empty canal eagerly.
"Just on the other side of the gate." Sweet Pea replied, crossing her arms over her large bosom, and the smirk on her lips widened to a bright grin. "They'll be coming in any second now."
"Oooh!" Aphelandra jumped up and down, clapping her hands together with excitement. "I can't wait for the return of the princess!"
"And Luffy, too, I hope." Ameria chimed in with a somewhat worried smile.
"Don't worry." Marguerite placed a comforting hand upon Ameria's shoulder. "I know Princess made sure that Luffy returned safely."
Ameria fought to agree. She knew her captain could always prevail through the toughest situations, but she couldn't shake off the nagging feeling that something was…wrong.
Shouts of joy continued as the gates opened and the mighty Kuja ship appeared, two mighty sea kings pulling it through the canal. A wave of high-pitched shrieks followed as the amazons greeted their princess that stood on the deck of her galleon. Ameria clung to the edge of the thick stone wall in front of her; there was no sign of Luffy.
"Hey…" Marguerite's joyful tone darkened, hushing to a wary whisper. "What's that following the ship?" and she pointed towards the mysterious vessel.
Sweet Pea, Aphelandra and Ameria followed Marguerite's finger, seeing a flashy yellow submarine in tow of the Kuja galleon. The Jolly Roger painted on the side in black looked vaguely familiar, but Ameria didn't have a chance to study it when the other amazons in the crowd noticed that the deck of the unknown vessel was filled with men.
"They followed the princess!" The rough voice of Kikyo arose from the enraged crowd of amazons. The furious woman leaped onto the stone wall, her snake locked into the shape of a bow and she knocked back an arrow to only let it fly a second later.
The projectile hit the submarine's wall, nearly burrowing into the flesh of someone who looked way too calm, especially since the rest of the crew panicked when the other women warriors also took up arms.
Ameria tucked her elbows in close to her sides, her head nestled between her shoulders as Marguerite, Sweet Pea and Aphelandra followed Kikyo's lead. The amazons around her knocked back arrows and then let them soar. However, the rain of bolts never hit their target as another mass of missiles countered them.
"Huh?!" Sweet Pea's eyes opened wide in shock. "The Kuja stopped us?!"
The primary pirates of the Kuja had mimicked the stances of their fellow amazons, snakes locked into bows and arrows drawn.
"Put down your weapons!" The princess then stepped forward, her order loud enough for everyone present to hear. A dark scowl was on her features yet her voice held a tiny quiver of concern. "Luffy is on that vessel!"
Ameria brows furrowed in confusion. When she got a second look at the submarine, she remembered who that Jolly Roger belonged to: the Surgeon of Death. Her face went pale and she covered her gaping mouth with her hands. Luffy…what happened to you? That was the only thought to cross her mind.
"What do you mean I can't?"
Crossed spears blocked her path and the women warriors remained completely emotionless as they were questioned. Marguerite said that the submarine was on the bay at the other side of the island, and Ameria wanted to check up Luffy's well-being, but the village guards were being…difficult.
"Orders," was the simple response.
"But he's my captain," Ameria argued. "I want to make sure he's okay."
The woman warrior's stony expression softened and she sighed. "No woman on the island is to come in contact with the men save for the warriors to give them supplies."
"Uh…" Ameria's brows furrowed. "I'm not a villager."
"You're our guest." The second warrior spoke up. "More reason to make sure you are protected."
Ameria crossed her arms with a huff. She knew how to deal with cheeky men; she grew up in a garrison filled with them. Then a hand touched her shoulder, making her look around to see a pleading look from Marguerite. The amazon knew the warriors wouldn't make any exceptions and it was best to wait like everyone else.
Ameria paused, but then slowly turned to follow Marguerite. When she heard the warriors relax their spears, she swiftly pivoted on her heel and dashed towards the open gate. The two warriors were startled and braced their spears to block her again. Ameria shifted all her weight to her back and slid underneath the crossed spears and then she hurriedly stumbled to regain her footing and run as the warriors chased her.
She was jerked backwards when something grabbed a hold of her cape. The growl of the warrior came from behind and the fabric was forcibly yanked again. Ameria scoffed, the collar choking her and she struggled to undo the pin that held the fabric in place. Click, the pin was released and she bolted like a bat out of hell.
The roar of the warriors multiplied from two to twenty in seconds, which pumped adrenaline into Ameria's veins. She would understand if she was an actual resident of Amazon Lily, but she was a member of the Straw Hat crew going to see her captain.
…Was is true what Marguerite had said? That it seemed like Boa Hancock disliked her?
The sound of splitting bark snapped her from her inner thoughts and she peeked over to see that an arrow was embedded into a tree's exposed root. Arrows? Really? She thought. That would only make her run faster. Until she was stopped by a cliff.
She nearly tumbled over the edge, her eyes wide at the sight of the drop. She took a few steps back and turned around, but the silhouettes of the amazons drew closer. She bit her lip, her mind zipping through the options she had. There were only two: get caught or don't. And she knew what she had to do.
She took a deep breath in and then out, tuning out the shouts that were closing in on her. The women warriors were right behind her, reaching out hands to restrain her, but they were too late. Ameria sprinted forward, propelling herself from the last inch of land and jumped.
The screams of the warriors were lost in the wind rushing through her thick ebony lock, the tangled knots whipping against her ears. Time around her felt slow as she focused her mind on the ground. The energy around her was warm, and she closed her eyes to concentrate. The image of the canopy below her was burned into her mind, but she imagined the ground hidden beneath the leaves. The forest floor covered with dirt.
The ground shook, dust spiraled through the leaves like a wild tornado. The thin powder started to build up slowly, gaining in weight and size until the dust carved the images of bones. The cartilage whirled with the force of the wind, snapping together with large cracks to create a complete form: a skeletal dragon.
The dragon emerged from the circling dust, flying up quickly to meet her fall. With a small tap, she landed gracefully atop of the smooth cartilage of the dragon's skull. Then, the undead beast took flight high into the sky.
Wind passed freely through her clothing and only knotted her short hair even more. She steadied her stance, her feet rooted to bone and she guided the dragon's movement as a snowboarder guides his board down a snowy slope. Ameria didn't know exactly where the bay was, but time was not an object as her dragon circled the small island. She scanned the beaches, easily sighting that spot of yellow in the blue sea: the Heart Pirates.
With a small twist of her torso, she sent the dragon's bone body creaking as it turned in the direction of the bay. The crew of the Heart Pirates below panicked when the dragon approached and prepared to land. The magic woven wings forced intense winds upon them, knocking men over while others shielded their eyes. The mighty undead dragon's claws dug into the solid ground with ease, making fresh trenches in its wake. It landed with its head held high, showing an unspoken law of respect.
Ameria stood just as tall perched on the dragon's skull head and looked down at the men below. "Where's Luffy?" Her question was a demand.
It carried over the heads of the gasping men. All they did was stare up, gawking at the large animation. The dragon's neck creaked with each lifeless breath, dust falling from rubbing joints. Must be intimidated, she thought, and who wouldn't be after that display. Undead plus dragon equals bad news. However, one man stood out from the rest, and she trained her eyes on his calm composure.
The dragon lowered its head, making the jump she had to take a shorter one. The men's eyes followed her as she marched straight ahead to the captain of the Heart Pirates.
He stood out from the rest of his crew, the men that followed him wearing baggie white boilersuits whereas the captain sported a black and yellow hoodie with his Jolly Roger on the front. The yellow fabric had a sneering smiley face that had a T like design sticking out from the edges of the circle, and his hat and jeans had an interesting spotted design on them.
He eyed her curiously, arms crossed over his chest which showcased the tribal tattoos on his exposed forearms and also the word DEATH on his left hand's fingers. He opened his mouth to say something that was probably as snarky as his smirk, but she didn't allow him the pleasure.
She stood toe to toe with the surgeon, hands on her hips. "Where's Luffy?" She repeated with a tone just as commanding at the first time she asked.
The look on his face changed drastically. The mild interest flipped to anger, like she hit a nerve hard. The shadows under the brim of his signature brown-spotted white fuzzy hat darkened to the point where she couldn't even see his steely grey eyes anymore. "Miss, I should inform you that I do not take likely to being ordered around." He stated coldly, stepping closer to use his height as an advantage. "It's a captain thing."
She was playing with fire, and there was a tiny nag in the back of her mind that told her to stop stoking it. She wanted to see Luffy and pissing off the guy that was going to let her do that wasn't a good idea. Then again, she was worried. She ran away from Hancock's elite and jumped off a cliff just to get here. Backing down didn't seem like an option. "I need to know if he's alright." She crossed her arms over her chest. "I have to see him as soon as possible."
The surgeon's scowl hardened, growing deadlier by the minute.
"Captain Trafalgar," a new voice entered stage right, making her glance away from the surgeon and she saw a large fishman coming towards them. He was bandaged heavily along his chest from what she could see from under his kimono. He tried to walk calmly—despite the pain from his injures—over to the pair. "We should comply and answer her question. The women of the island are helping us and I assume they simply want to know Luffy's condition. It has been a few days, after all."
"Women of the island?" The surgeon rolled his eyes. "If a woman of the island was here with that question then, of course, I would give an answer. Too bad none are here with those type of manners."
The fishman's brows furrowed in confusion from the surgeon's annoyed response.
Ameria scoffed, feeling somewhat insulted. "Look, just let me see him—"
Law's jaw locked, and she could see every muscle in his body tense because of the tone in her voice. "He's asleep." He gritted through clenched teeth.
"I'm not going to—"
"No." He cut her off again.
Ameria knew she was getting nowhere. "Then I'll stay here and wait from him to wake up." She sighed, walking away from his intense glower to sit beneath a nearby tree.
"But…" the fishman started, a worried look on his face. "Aren't the women of the island not supposed to be here?"
The surgeon answered before Ameria could. "Yes, but she isn't one of them," and he looked over his shoulder. "She's Bones of the Straw Hat Pirates."
Law had to admit she was an interesting character. Bad attitude, but it was fueled from the concern of her captain which made it…understandable. That aside, he was mildly intrigued when they met informally back at the Auction House and he saw how the marines took an odd interest. Hell, his fascination in her started when he saw how X. Drake reacted to her. Above all, he was curious about her powers. He didn't have time to examine them thoroughly back then, but now he did.
He was able to witness her create and control bones at her very whim. Whenever his crew got a bit of courage to talk—flirt, because that was how his crew was—she would show off the many skeletons creations she had in her arsenal to scare them away. They ranged from humans to animals, even some mythical beasts. Though, he noted that some of the proportions were a bit off…
Nonetheless, he could see where her bounty of 60 million beli came from; an infinite army of the un-killable.
Still, there were questions left unanswered. Her powers, what were they in general? Where did they come from? Was the light grey glow that came to her hands the source, and why? It wasn't devil fruit…and he wanted to know what is was. But she was bitter and refused to give any details. She would only gave him simple answers of yes, no, maybe so.
She even turned down the offer for a trade: answers to see the rubber captain. She was strangely secretive. But despite that, she seemed like a useful person: he could use an undead army on his side. And with a bit of…tutoring on the bone structure, he could make her into something terrifying to his enemies.
The only obstacle in his path was the rubber captain. She was only sitting there dealing with the stares and questions because of her captain. He could use the you-owe-me card on Straw Hat, but then her loyalty to him would be nothing. He could just picture her trying to escape whenever she had the chance. That was something he didn't want; her feeling like she was a prisoner.
Well…she joined the Straw Hats for a reason, if he could just throw her mind off kilter then maybe…
He smirked, yes, that could work, he thought. He walked casually over to her, leaning against the tree she sat at the base of, and then greeted her with a simple: "Hello, Miss Bones."
"Captain Trafalgar." She acknowledged his presence, but refused to look at him.
There was silence as Law allowed her to relax before he asked: "Why did you join Mister Straw Hat's crew?"
The question threw her for a loop because she looked up at him in confusion. "Why do you want to know that?"
"If you're a Straw Hat there must be a noteworthy dream and also a touching tale." He replied slyly.
She scoffed, her brows knitted in annoyance and she whipped her attention away from him. "I have my reasons," she blurted out.
"And that would be?" He pressed on.
She sighed. "Curiosity killed the cat."
"But satisfaction brought it back," he finished with a smug smirk.
She was silent for a moment then she turned her full attention towards him again. "You really want to know?"
"Will you leave me alone if I tell you?"
"I'm not making any promises, but I'll give you more space if you cooperate."
She pursed her lips, her eyes weighing the trade. "I'm…" she paused, a doubtful gleam in her azure eyes, but then she finished. "…looking for something."
"And what is it that you are looking for, Miss Bones?"
"None of your business," she snapped, a sharp glare in her eyes. "You said you'd leave me alone!"
"If you answered my question," Law smirked. "And I believe that something, isn't a very good answer. Hardly is one, wouldn't you agree?"
"Ugh…" she groaned.
Law chuckled; she let her walls down so easily. A something, was all he needed. He crouched down and sat beside her, the touch of their arms making her stir uncomfortably as he whispered: "How are you going to find that something if you're stuck on this island?"
"I'm not going to be stuck here that long." She scoffed, trying to scoot away.
Law wrapped an arm around her shoulders, ceasing her movement. "How do you know?" He inquired with a frown, a faulty mask of concern on his features. "You might be here for years."
"I have my animations." She glared. "You have seen what I can make."
"And it's impressive work, but…it's lacking." He was honest, and her eyes opened wide at the sudden critique. "You have skill, don't get me wrong, but you seems to have the work of a novice under your belt, Miss Bones. A few minutes, maybe a day's worth of good work can get people far, but can you keep up that pace for years?"
She was speechless, and he continued.
"Can your animations even go off on their own without the source in the same radius?" He inquired. "And even if they could do that, what if it takes a year to find that something, then another year for the animation to get back. Overall, it's a waste of two years when it could have taken one."
"What are you saying, Trafalgar?" She questioned, venom in her voice.
Law leaned in close, brushing away locks of ebony hair from her ear so he could whisper: "Join my crew, Miss Bones. Find what you need in a year rather than two with Straw Hat."
She shoved at his chest, but only succeed in tumbling away from his grasp rather than pushing him away. Her cheeks prickled crimson from rage and she jumped to her feet. "I—I will not abandon Luffy!" She seethed. "Luffy isn't the type to stay in one place for long. I'll be on my search again before you know it, Trafalgar." She spat before turning on her heel, retreating to a different tree on the other side of the bay to hide behind.
Law just watched her leave without a word. He didn't need to get the last word in on the matter. He knew his words were already racing through her mind. He planted the seed, now he just needed to let doubt grow.
Ameria sat curled up in a ball of furious anger. That talk with the surgeon left a bitter taste in her mouth. The thought of that man asking her to join his crew was unbelievable, unthinkable and personally made her sick. Leaving Luffy just like that, she would never do. He watched his brother die and his crew be scattered to the winds right before his eyes. He needed her more than anything right now. True, she was on a mission, but Luffy wouldn't stay here that long, right? He promised her he would help her…
Luffy needed to rest, of course, but he wouldn't spend years, right? A month, maybe two tops is all the rest he needed, right? Luffy did have a habit—though a bad one at that—of going off before he was fully rested. Chopper always got on his case for that. But when Luffy wanted to do something or go somewhere he did it at all costs, no matter the obstacle.
Yet…there was something that was still nagging at her.
Law's words were digging at her mind like a plow, growing questions and thoughts that shouldn't even come to mind, let alone ponder about them. What if Luffy was going to stay on the island longer than she thought and she ended up waiting years? The reason why she joined his crew in the first place was because he promised to help her look for it, but what Law had told her twisted and turned in her mind.
She hated to admit it, but he had been right about her being a novice. There was no way she could send her animations to travel in her stead. She didn't have that power yet. Ugh, she thought, looking down at her hand and watched her fingertips glow a soft shade of grey, what good is it to have magic at your fingertips when you can use it when you need it most.
She felt lost, useless and extremely stupid.
She clutched the copper amulet that hung around her neck in her hands, staring at the image of a laughing skull craved into the metal with frown and thought: What am I going to do now…?
She couldn't wait, like Law said, and she would be in a bind if Luffy decided to stay longer. She…she didn't have time. She needed a plan B, but joining the Heart Pirates was not an option.
...Or was it?
Before she could even come to a conclusion, her train of thought was interrupted by a long piercing scream that echoed through the small camp. The familiar voice made her leap to her feet and look towards the bay. The submarine began to shake, large waves forming in the still water around it. Sirens rang from the swaying vessel, followed by the crew's cries of protest and panic.
She heard the rushed footsteps as Law and the fishman ran to the edge of the bay where the submarine was docked. With a loud creak, the metal at the top of the submarine warped violently. The thick iron gave way when something pounded against it and the culprit shot out into the sky like a rubber ball before tumbling to the ground.
He was covered in bandages from head to toe, breathing heavily as he struggled to remain balanced on his hands and knees. The gauze covering his skin were stained with dirt and spots of red peeked through the whiteness. A tremor shook his entire body as he threw back his head and screamed to the heavens: "AAAAAAACCCCCEEE!"
Like a feral beast reacting only to the state of mind, he leapt to his feet, his eyes wide in blank shock as he cried his brother's name over and over again. He darted toward the sea, ready to leap, but the Heart Pirates restrained the rubber captain. Even in his current state, Luffy was still too much for them and he resisted.
Ameria just stood there, her eyes wide and her hands covering her mouth. It was like watching the moment after it happened…after Ace died.
The Heart Pirates all pitched in for a last ditch effort, a last resort to stop the rampage of the rubber captain when he tripped and fell to the ground. They piled onto Luffy, one after another to pin him down, but he threw the dog-pile off with a mighty roar. When free, Luffy ran through the large cloth barrier that surrounded the camp and fled into the jungle.
She snapped from the frozen state. "Luffy!" She cried, getting her ass into gear. Luffy needed her.
But strong arms wrapped around her stomach from behind before she could make it to the broken barrier. "Don't. He's unpredictable right now." Law stated calmly.
Ameria froze again, staring at where Luffy had disappeared into the shadowy maze of towering trucks and vines. His screams still pounded against her eardrums, the echo like a broken record. She felt her skin grow hot when she found it hard to find the words to say, the feeling of her heart sinking into her stomach like a brick. "But…" she managed to speak, but her voice was too weak to continue.
"Mister Jinbei is going after him," Law told her calmly. "Just stay here, there is nothing you can do," and then he released her from his hold.
She slumped to the ground, his words cutting deep. She brought her legs up to her chest, hugging herself tightly. Was there really nothing she could do? She could comfort him, but could she really? How could she comfort him if she didn't know what to say? Everything was going to be alright couldn't be the words he needed to hear, or wanted to hear. Could the fishman really be more of a help than she would be? Maybe. He was there, and maybe he did know the right words to say when Luffy was in this state of mind.
That didn't make her feel any better. It didn't soothe her anxiety. It just lingered there like a darkness that wouldn't go away.
Her head was throbbing and her body felt sore to the bone; her own fault for falling asleep in such a tense position, but it was a way to escape the building anxiety.
She sighed deeply and she peeked over her knees to see if, by a miracle chance, that her captain had returned. Yet, instead she was greeted with the odd sight of her being in the middle of the camp. She saw the brown boots of men walking right in front of her, pacing back and forth like the crew was moving things from one place to another.
Another thing that concerned her was what the hell she was leaning against. If it wasn't a tree, then what was it?
Lifting her head, she looked to the side to see a close-up of denim jeans with black spots dyed into the fabric. She pursed her lips, feeling a wave of embarrassment cross her cheeks. Talk about letting her guard down.
"Good morning, Miss Bones," his voice drew her attention and she craned her head back to see his smug look. "Or rather, good evening. You were out cold for a few hours."
The look on her face must have amused him because he started to chuckle. She mustered all the anger she could to glare at him, but the awkwardness filling her gut was overpowering. Instead, she stood up, their eyes locking for a second before she sharply turned on her heel and walked away, covering her scarlet cheeks. She stood at the edge of the bay, lightly slapping her cheeks. This wasn't the best thing to wake up to after a bad nap.
"Just ignore him."
The familiar voice startled her and she whipped around and her eyes opened wide in shock. "R—Ray-san?!" was all she could stutter.
Rayleigh chuckled as he wrung out the water from his white coat over the edge of the cliff. "Why am I here, and when did I even get here?" He questioned for her as he lashed the damp cloth against the open air. "I'm here to check up on our dear friend Luffy, and a few minutes ago," he then answered. "I may be old, but I'm still a pretty decent swimmer. Nearly lost my glasses though…"
"O—oh." Ameria murmured; she didn't know what to say about the distance or even ask how.
"That Trafalgar isn't so bad." Rayleigh continued. "He helped Luffy after all, and it seems like he let you use his leg as a pillow. A gentleman if you ask me," and he winked towards her.
Gentleman my ass, she frowned.
Rayleigh let out a short laugh. "Seems like I missed him being a deviant, didn't I?" The old man nudge her in the arm with an elbow. "Like I said, ignore him. Even now."
Ameria's brows furrowed in confusion, but when she felt a tap on her shoulder, she inwardly groaned.
She remained silent, but the curious look behind Rayleigh's glasses wasn't making the situation any better. She had mixed emotions involving Trafalgar Law: annoyance and awkwardness.
"My offer still stands." He stated, his tone full of confidence. "I'm sure you'll find me when you make up your mind. I hope to see you again soon."
She had to give him credit for trying until the bitter end, but there is no way she could leave Luffy. She faced the surgeon with a dark expression, her eyes telling him he should doubt that confidence, but it didn't. He just smirked and then walked away to continue overseeing his crew bring supplies to their submarine.
"What was that about?" Rayleigh finally spoke up.
"Don't worry about it," she grumbled. "It means nothing."
Apparently, Ameria learned why Boa Hancock hated her: the snake princess was madly in love with Luffy.
The look that Hancock gave Ameria when Luffy hugged her could have turned her to stone. Whenever Hancock got the chance, she'd sneak a murderous glare towards Ameria, and Ameria tried not to focus on the dangerous aura since Rayleigh was talking about the importance of being prepared for the New World.
The conversation was more of an argument because Rayleigh recommended that Luffy wait and train. Though, it sounded as if Luffy had no option. He needed to train for at least two years. The Grand Line had always been a dangerous place, but there was a reason why one side was called Paradise and the other was called New World. Still, Rayleigh gave Luffy the choice and allowed him to sleep on the matter, and also discuss it with Ameria in private.
That meant Hancock being dragged away for the night, and boy did she not like that idea.
Once the screeching of Hancock died down to nothing but a small buzz, Ameria finally spoke up. "So, what're you gonna do?" She asked, wrapping her returned amazon cape around her form to cast away the cold night.
Luffy paused his obnoxious gnawing on a bone. "Think I need'ta listen to Ray-san." He answered. "I wanna see everyone, but I gotta think about everyone, too, y'know."
"He's right…" Ameria frowned. "We do need to get stronger for the real rivals up ahead."
"Yup!" Luffy grinned blissfully. "Our travels so far were just the Grand Line picking off the weak from the strong, just like Zoro said!"
"…Yeah." Ameria closed her eyes, inhaling and exhaling deeply.
"Eh?" Luffy tilted his head to the side and frowned. "Wassup? You don't sound too happy…"
"Time…" she bit her lip. "Time really isn't on my side right now."
"Oh?" Luffy's brows furrowed in thought, but then they shot up and his eyes opened wide. "OH! Your master's mask! I forgot about that! You need to find it!"
"Yeah…but," she smiled weakly and she clutched the copper amulet around her neck until her knuckles turned white. "Maybe he can hang in there… He's tough, y'know—"
Luffy pointed the greasy meat bone at her, the stained cartilage dripping with drool. "Bullshit!" He called her out. "You told us he could die without it!" Then he placed the bone between his teeth again, chewing on it in thought as he crossed his arms over his chest. "We need to think of some way to get you off this island and search for it…"
"But…how?" Ameria frowned. "We are in the middle of the Calm Belt, and there is no way I can swim like Ray-san."
"You can make dragons with your magic!" Luffy snapped and he started to flap his arms like they were bird's wings. "You can fly!"
"I—I—I—" Ameria stuttered. "I don't think I could make it… I'm not powerful enough yet to do something like that."
"Hmm," Luffy hummed and sat down, arms crossed and his eyes closed in deep concentration. Then a lightbulb dinged above his head. "Oh! Kuja! We can ask the Kuja Pirates to help!"
"Maybe…but," Ameria was doubtful. "I think the Kuja return back to Amazon often… So they probably never leave for too long. Plus…I think Hancock won't leave as much knowing you're here."
"Why?" Luffy pursed his lips in confusion.
A bead of sweat trickled down her cheek; too oblivious to even notice that the princess had a permanent blush around him.
"Hmm…" Luffy went back to humming, but there was a dissatisfied expression on his features. "Too bad Law left before I got back," he grumbled. "Could have asked him to take you along."
"W—what!?" Ameria's eyes opened wide in shock. "You'd—wait, why?!"
Luffy eyed her in confusion. "He's my friend. I'm sure he'd help."
Ameria was speechless, but she should have known that her captain was like this by now. "He…" she found herself saying. "He…he already asked me to join his crew."
"Whoa, really!" Luffy's eyes grew in shock. "Do you think he predicted the future? I bet that's how he knew to come at the right time to save Jinbei and me!" And then he grinned widely, rubbing the side of his forefinger under his nose. "Traffy is so cool, isn't he, Meri?"
Ameria felt another bead of swear travel down her cheek and her brow twitched in annoyance. Trafalgar is far more sinister than you think Luffy, she wanted to say, but something about bursting his bubble right now seemed too cruel.
Luffy then leapt to his feet, throwing the meat bone over his shoulder into the pile behind him. "That settles that!"
"Err…" she didn't like where this was going, and she inched away as the rubber captain that drew closer. She wasn't fast enough as her captain gathered her into his arms and started to drag her towards the bay's cliff. "L—Luffy?!" Her eyes opened wide in panic, her heels digging into the dirt. She really didn't like where this was going. "Let me go!"
Luffy ignored her protest and resisted her struggle to escape. Then with a large grin, he shouted: "Fly, my pretty, fly!" and pushed her off the cliff.
"LUFFY!" She shrieked at the top of her lungs. "HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU I CAN'T—!"
Beta read by praeses