A/N: Just to point out, that if Rouge never had to hide her pregnancy, Ace would have been born eleven months earlier, in the February of the previous year.
As Dragon stood by the window, he had to wonder why it wasn't raining.
In literature, the death of a beloved person was accompanied by a dreary sky, wet with the tears of the world. And yet, on this day, the day of his wife's death, the sun was merciless in its rays and the sky was an almost obnoxiously bright blue.
It did make some poetic sense, however. As a revolutionary, she hadn't had any ties to this world. She had no family to cry for her.
A faint sniffling was heard from behind him.
Except for them.
She had the two of them to cry for her; her husband, the one who knew her best, and her son, the one who shared her blood. He shared Dragon's blood, too.
Dragon stalked over to the bed. Lying on top of it were his wife's body and their son, cradled in her cooling arms. It had been a death by childbirth.
As he picked up the small boy, he questioned himself. What was he going to do? Was he going to drop his son off somewhere and hope for the best? Was he going to let his only son be raised by someone else? Would he let his son grow up an orphan?
He wasn't entirely sure how he was supposed to hold a baby. The boy wasn't whining or fidgeting, though, so he figured he must have been doing something right. As he looked down at his son, whose head was cushioned against his collarbone, two wide black eyes opened and met his.
Dragon had to smile. The boy certainly did look a lot like her. He brought a hand up to his son's face, where his pinkie finger was quickly caught in a surprisingly strong grip for an infant. Then again, why should he expect anything less from a carrier of D?
He couldn't do it. He couldn't leave his son behind for the revolution. Not in a world where the Pirate King still roamed the seas. Not in a world where pirates aiming to take Roger's head ruthlessly killed civilians in their way. Not in a world where the Marines were extra paranoid about criminals having families and children after Roger announced his own marriage.
In a different world, maybe, he might have felt secure in leaving his son with someone like Garp, who might have been able to provide a safer life. Yes, in a different world, he would have done just that.
But not in this one.
Six years ago, Roger had announced to the world his intention to wed the lovely Ms Portgas D Rouge. Five years ago, Roger had not announced to the world his child growing inside the womb of the lovely Mrs Gol D Rouge.
And nine months later, they had a baby boy. And his name was Ace. And they loved him.
In fact, the whole crew was fairly smitten with the boy. Everyone had come to be attached to him immediately, and now they couldn't imagine sailing without him. They couldn't imagine not having Ace's special chair next to his father's in the dining hall, couldn't imagine not taking special precautions whenever they wanted to take Ace into port.
For the most part, Ace didn't leave the ship. He was a secret and he would stay that way. But when they came to a peaceful port town, where it was unlikely to meet other pirates or the ilk, they would stop a ways away from the dock and let someone go ahead with Ace before the ship pulled into the actual dock. The boy couldn't spend his entire childhood on the Oro Jackson. The boy needed to learn that the world was larger than just his home.
At age four, Ace's existence still wasn't known to the world. Roger hoped it would be someday. He hoped his son would go out into the world and make his own name, and he couldn't do that if he had Roger's tacked onto it.
The name Gol was far, far too well known, for obvious reasons. Portgas was just as known, for being married to him. So if he used his father's name or his mother's, the world would know who his parents were immediately. So that left the dilemma of how Ace would address himself as he grew up.
For the time being, he only carried one name. Roger though that one day in the future, Ace could pick his own family name.
It had been a long trip. His son, Luffy, was more of a handful than he could have predicted.
The first problem was that he had to sneak the bundle past his own guards. They would have been sure to ask if they saw him carrying something small and swathed in blankets, and he didn't have a proper lie to dispel suspicions about it.
The second problem being that at some point, Luffy had discovered his vocal cords and was having quite a bit of fun trying them out. Dragon was hesitant to chastise him for it, lest the boy become afraid to talk at all, but it was certainly not the most opportune time for the boy to be making noise.
And on top of that, he had nothing secure like a cradle to put the boy in, so he had to hold the loud, wriggling infant in his lap as he tried to finish his paper work.
Yet somehow, nobody managed to find out about Luffy. It was a miracle.
When they returned to Baltigo, he managed to get Luffy past everyone again and into the meeting room for his highest ranking subordinates, the ones closest to him. After all, he couldn't keep his son a secret from absolutely everyone.
"Dragon-san, you're back! …Is that a baby?"
"A baby? Is it yours?"
"Where'd you get it?"
"Wait, weren't you on a mission with your wife? Where is she?"
"DID YOU TRADE YOUR WIFE IN FOR A BABY?" someone yelled accusingly.
"I don't think it works that way, Gary."
"Ooooh, look at how cute she is!"
"Are you sure it isn't a boy?"
"SILENCE PLEASE!" Dragon yelled. Sometimes these people frustrated him. They thought they could get away with so much because they were high ranking, but it was really just annoying. Luckily, they knew when to shut up and listen.
Until Luffy made a strange, happy sound in the back of his throat.
"Did it just… coo?"
"Actually, I think it was more of a croon."
"A chirp, maybe?"
"What are you, idiots? IT WAS TOTALLY PURRING!"
"SHUT UP, GARY!"
"Stop debating onomatopoeia and start thinking about the important stuff! Dragon-san, we need the details of this!" Becky, the rational one, effectively quieted the assembled.
Dragon sighed. He really should have thought this through a little better. "To answer your earlier questions, yes, it's mine, my wife died in childbirth, no, I did not trade her in for a baby, and it's a boy, not a girl. His name is Luffy. Also, it was a trill. End of discussion."
"What do you plan to do with him?"
"Raise him. Train him. Make him strong. When he's old enough, he'll pick his own destiny," Dragon told them.
There was a brief silence as the gathered people thought it over. A child in Baltigo? Dragon's child in Baltigo? Could the Headquarters survive having another D in its care? How would they adjust to taking care of a child?
"…I still say it was purring."
A/N: Why am I doing this? I have so many other things to be working on and yet I'm starting something new. To be frank, this one will probably take a backseat to my other stories, unless I have a crazy inspiration brick to the face that forces me to sit down and continue it immediately.
Ideas, ideas, ideas! I only have a few, so I would really like your ideas! If you give me an idea I don't already have and I use it, I'll give you credit for it in the author's note of the chapter. So don't pick anything to obvious or I'll get the same ideas over and over.
And seriously, Gary, what are you doing? I mentioned you in Death & Daffodils as being a revolutionary, and now you're in Wild Blood? How are you doing that?
GARY YOU SPREAD LIKE A DISEASE
Don't worry about OCs in this fic; the most you'll get are names with characteristics. I strongly dislike OCs, but sometimes I need names to use as placeholders, and as soon as someone has a name in my mind, they have a characterisation to go with it.