I don't own any of the following: One Piece, The Whitebeard Pirates, or Portgaz D Ace.
So that being said I hope you enjoy this fic.
Swinging open the door to my favorite bakery in town the bell chimed, alerting the woman behind the display case of pastries, cookies and brownies of my presence. Which was something I wish it wouldn't do. She looked up from counting the money in the cash register and with a smile said, "Come on in hon, don't be shy." Before she looked over her shoulder and into the bakery part of the shop, in a voice quite contrary to the soft inviting tone she had just used shouted, "Bring me out Willow's usual!" As we waited the short plump woman with greying brown hair finished counting the money and asked, "How are you doin' up there in that house of yours? Dontcha ever get lonely?"
We had this conversation or some other variation of it just about every time I came into the bakery. But it was nice to know that someone cared or at least took interest in my well-being. I nodded. "No it's nice up there, quiet too." That was the best perk of living where I did. As much as I loved most of the people of the city of Weston I wasn't much of a people person and I liked my. I realized that my response didn't really answer her first question and said with a gentle smile, "But I'll have you know that I'm doing just fine." Even though I was still trying to patch up the hole that the Straw Hat Luffy had created in my art studio I was doing just fine, it was an add on room so it hadn't affected the rest of my house very much. Rather I was find by my standards. I had a house and water, clothing, inspiration and the people of Weston, what else did I really need?
"That's good to hear dear." The voice belonging to her husband sounded cutting through any response that Ana-Beth was about to give as he walked out of the bakery covered in flour and wearing a chocolate stained apron. He handed me my usual bag of two loaves of bread some breakfast pastries and maybe a something extra.
I handed my money to Ana-Beth but before I could turn around to leave her voice stopped me. "Are you eating enough up there? You look rather thin hon."
"No she don't Beth. Don't go puttin' no crazy ideas that she don't need into her mind." The past middle-aged ginger named Henry scolded his wife. But before I could attempt to sneak away he said "Besides if Willow ever needs anything she'll come to us, right?" As he said that last word he fixed a pointed 'you had better' look on me.
"Y-yes of course guys." I added a quick nod before thanking them once again and slipping out before I could be asked any other questions.
I headed for Ocean View Diner where my two friends, the twins Ava and Evalyn worked. The diner lived up to its name; it had a beautiful view of the ports and the ocean. I often came here to sketch or try and get better at my water color paintings. When they saw me sitting in our usual corner booth they slipped in, Ava next to me and Evalyn across from me. Despite being twins and having the same lavender hair, same silver eyes and same face and body shapes they looked nothing alike, that was where their similarities ended. They looked nothing alike, both their hair styles and lengths varied, their clothing style were like day and night and though the bases of their personalities were similar they each had their own quirks. We chatted for as long as we possibly could before they were spotted and swept back into the kitchen by a friend of their mothers, a senior worker.
After I finished my tea and left I headed for the library. It was a large stone building with towering wrap around shelves, rolling ladders and a large open space before the large desk where its librarian and his helpers sat. When a chime once again announced my presence the old man who was just about as old as the oldest book in the building looked up over the flat rims of his glasses, smiled, stamped something into a book and gently closed it before standing and walking around the desk saying, "Good afternoon my dear child. What may we delve for within the deepest, darkest crevices of this magnificently timeworn edifice today?"
The sad thing was that I knew exactly what he was saying, the meaning of every word that he had just used in that sentence and could appropriately respond without sounding like a complete and utter fool. "Any suggestions Cato?" I asked clutching the bag of bread to my chest tightly as his bony arms wrapped me in a warm hug. Cato was like the slightly insane grandfather of the city that was my family. He was a wise old man that was kind and slightly off his rocker though. However he had the respect of the entire city. And sometimes if I was lucky enough he'd share a small slice of his wisdom with me from behind his desk or from atop one of the many rolling ladders that he loved so much.
When I went rigid in his arms he took a step back and cleared his throat. "Right, personal space, sorry. Now let's see. . ." He trailed off stroking the white hair on his chin on as if he had a really long beard; in reality it was quite short. Of course he was trying to look silly before he shouted the word 'eureka!' with a snap of his fingers. "Right this way my dear Willow. We just got in some new adventure and romance novels that I'm positive that you'll absolutely love but, those can wait another time. I don't think you've read. . ." He drew out the word as he looked up searching for a certain number or for a certain author's last name. "There it is, give me just a moment." He climbed onto the nearest ladder and made a show of rocketing away about fifty feet before slamming to a stop that should have sent him flying, and without a seconds hesitation pulled a dusty old book off the shelf and said, "Yes, this is a great one indeed, about the river of life and its ever flowing and changing currents. You know change isn't always a bad thing no matter how scary it may be." He gave me this look that I didn't understand over the tops of his glasses before handing me the book and going back to what he had been doing before I had arrived, giving me some time to scan the shelves by myself.
After choosing a few more books I returned to the large sitting area and checked them out after handing over the ones in my bag. We conversed about those books and their authors and the authors styles for far longer then I should have allowed before leaving and quickly finishing the errands that still remained on my list.
On my way around town I returned every nod, smile, hello and any other forms of greetings that I received. However on the way out of town I declined every offer of help that I received. I didn't need it and why make anyone take the return trip? Plus I was used to the forest and was able to skillfully navigate around, under and over the thick roots, through the vines and at places thick underbrush.
After reaching my quaint little stone house and putting the books where the belonged, the bread and pastries in their places, after putting the bag of unmixed cement by my front door, setting up a brand new easel and hiding my newest set of brushes and colors, I grabbed the little rectangular box of pastels and my largest sketchpad before heading out.
I half skipped half walked with a spring in my step till I reached the edge of a cliff with a smile. I inhaled a deep breath of the fresh salty air, releasing it only when it became necessary before sitting down and propping the sketchpad against my legs. The sound of the forest behind me and the crashing of the waves into the rocks below me mixed harmoniously in my ears.
I studied the scene before me trying to decide what color I should use first, trying to figure out if I should sketch everything in pencil or black and then add the color later or if I should just freehand it all. I intently stared at the vibrant and brilliantly blended hues of pink, orange, yellow, fading and darkening into black blue sky. The sun was currently but a ball of fire sinking into the horizon of the ocean, silhouetting some rocks far off in the distance. Glancing down at the opened box next to me I carefully selected a daisy yellow before getting to work. I had to hurry before the colors fully drained into the night, before the sun was fully consumed by the ocean and the moon tossed into the sky in its place, before the stars began piercing the sky, and most importantly before I lost the inspiration to capture this perfect sunset on paper.
When the crew was told not to make trouble on the island of Serehna I felt as though Pops was talking directly to me. After docking he said that we'd be leaving in two weeks and reminded us to stay out of trouble that would make us have to leave any time before the set date. He also told us to keep the island whole for the duration of out stay and after those words he turned us loose.
I let out a cry of joy and ran towards the rail of the ship, vaulting right over it, and after landing on the wooden docks pushed the brim of my hat up with a smile. Before me was a medium sized city that was bustling but the foreground boasted huge trees with even larger canopies with ribbons of pathways cutting through the large tree covered rocky hill, maybe it was a mountain? I couldn't even begin to imagine what might be in that forest, what I might find amongst the greenery. And I had two weeks to explore! The thought summoned an even wider smile.
I was about to take off when an arm wrapped around my shoulders and a voice said, "A newbie thinks that he can beat you in not only an eating contest but also a drinking contest."
I scoffed. Only Pops and a few select others could beat me in a drinking contest and I was pretty sure that I had most people- Luffy was questionable- beat when it came to eating contests. "He can't." I assured Thatch removing his arm from around my shoulders. There were only a few hours of daylight left and I didn't want to run the risk of burning up the forest while trying to use my fire as a light because my flashlight burned out because that's how lucky I was and that's just how things worked.
"Then you had better put him in his place."
I sighed heavily. "Fine. I'll teach the newbie a lesson." I guess I'll just have to wait till tomorrow unless I ordered the strongest alcohol the bar, tavern, whatever had to offer and use that to win in minutes. Yeah, that sounded like a good plan to me. We were lead into a bar, sat down next to each other and after telling the curvy bartender woman that we wanted the strongest stuff they had shots were poured and after tossing mine back we were off.
I had the kid beat within five shots and ten minutes and when I stood and slapped him on the back to congratulate him for having lasted that long he fell forwards with a glass rattling thunk. I laughed a bit wondering if that resembled the way I looked when I had an episode. "Somebody get him back to the ship or something." I ordered before heading out. Just about half, if not more, of the crew had followed us into the bar so someone was bound to listen . . . right?
But before I could make it to the door a hand landed on my shoulder and stopped me. "Where are you going?" Marco's voice asked me, a bottle in his other hand.
"To explore." What else would I be doing?
"No you're not. You're drunk."
Ace blinked at me as if trying to register my words before slurring, "Am not." Like a child.
I chuckled at him. He couldn't even walk straight. "That's right, you're completely wasted." Maybe Ace had forgotten to literally burn off the vast amount of alcohol he had just consumed because usually Ace wouldn't get this drunk if he even managed to get drunk in the first place. And I knew that the second division commander wanted to explore the forest, see what adventures- if any- it had to offer, but letting him loose on an island in the condition that he was currently in was not even a remotely good idea.
"I'm going to explore while I still can. See if I can find any Hercules Beetles for Luffy." At the mention of his brother Ace smiled broadly.
I nearly face palmed as he turned his shoulder into fire and my hand fell limply back to my side. Even wasted he couldn't shut up about his little brother. As Ace continued his journey to the door of the tavern I held my hands up in surrender before taking a seat instead of going after him.
"Give up?" Thatch asked a few women hanging off his arms.
I nodded and ordered another bottle. I wasn't even going to try to stop him. Ace was someone else's problem now and if he wasn't back in two weeks that's when we could start getting concerned about him.
When I stepped outside the heavy morning for had yet to lift so I grabbed a flashlight and headed out with my sketchpad and a simple pencil in hand. Maybe today I'd catch the forests native wildlife, something that most people didn't get the opportunity to see because they were mostly nocturnal animals that were gone by time the morning glories closed. Or maybe the sun filtering through the thick fog would inspire me. I didn't know what I'd end up going home with, what new drawings that my sketchpad would contain at the end of the day.
Maybe I was too deep in thought or maybe it was the fogs fault but whatever the cause my foot caught on something and one moment I was walking rather happily and the next I was sprawled out on the ground tasting grass having failed to catch myself during the fall, before I hit the ground. Quickly I rolled over and sat up expecting to see a new root to be arching out of the ground like the back of a sea king from the ocean, the trees in this forest had the tendency to move during the night or extremely dark stormy days, it was as though the sun paralyzed them or maybe it energized them, but that tendency was why most people stayed along the barren of foliage shores of the island .Though I couldn't blame them, with moving trees it was hard to have path markers and things of that sort. But when I leaned forwards, squinting through the swirling fog I did not see dirt covered roots but instead a dirty and fleshy colored limb. Unfortunately the fog obscured the rest of the body from my sight. Well I could see their dark outline but that was it.
"I-I-I-I'm sorry." I managed bowing so low on my knees that my forehead almost touched the ground. I had tripped over a person, not a root but instead a person! I hope they weren't mad at me. What if they had been sleeping peacefully and I had just disturbed them?! "It-it's totally m-my fault." Doubled over I waited there for a response.
Well I know that the first chapter was a little slow and I apologize for that. But I hope all of you readers liked it anyway. I also apologize for the pov changes, I'm warning you now there's going to be a lot of those. I'm pretty sure that a lot of people don't like those but I like capturing everyone's thoughts and stuff.
Also I'm still debating if I should keep it in first person pov or change it to third person. What do you guys think? Should I keep it as it is now or change it? Your input and opinions are greatly appreciated.
Feedback. Thoughts. Opinions. Constructive criticism all of that is welcome and greatly appreciated.