Chapter 1: Morning in Roanapur

Blood. That heavy, metallic scent was always there. It was a smell she was familiar with, a smell she had adopted, a smell she was used to, except for now. It was morning in Roanapur, and the great Revy Two-Hands was hunched over in the bathroom hurling her guts out. It was a ritual she was all too familiar with, waking up in the morning only to discover that her body had decided it had had its limit with the liquor, only this time, it wasn't due to drinking.

In fact, Revy had noticed lately that she hadn't been able to keep any alcohol down. It was almost as if her body was rejecting the booze. To her displeasure, she had decided to just give up on drinking altogether. Of course her co-workers hadn't failed to take notice. Dutch and Benny had even started growing concerned about their top gunman. They had given her shit about it in the beginning, but after a near miss of a bullet to the head, they quickly decided to drop the subject.

But no, she hadn't lost her edge, and it wasn't liquor that was making her sick. The smell of blood on her cutlass from the previous night's job had been enough to make her stomach turn. She simply couldn't understand it. Never in her shit-fest of a life has the smell of blood bothered her. Sometimes, it even calmed her. Trying desperately to figure out what was the hell was wrong, she remained there, hunched over the toilet bowl as wave after wave of nausea crept over her.

"Fuck. What the fuck is wrong with me?"

She slammed her fist down in anger, but the truth of the matter was that she knew damn well what was wrong with her. It had been more than obvious. The symptoms all added up, but as always, she continued to stubbornly cling to denial.

"God damn it. This can't be fucking happening. This is all that bastard's fault!"

A mood swing swept over her. Feeling somewhat helpless, she desperately struggled to fight back the surge of emotions that threatened to come forth. She would not cry. She refused to cry. Even if her hormones were causing her body to go wild, she refused to shed a single tear.

Her efforts were useless. Ashamed at her own weakness, she fell to her hands and knees as a few tears dared to make their escape. Even in private she tried not to show it, but she was scared. If anyone in the city discovered her secret, she was as good as dead. Every last bastard who owned a gun would be scrambling to take her down while she was vulnerable just to make a name for themselves.

Her hands clenched into fists again, and fear was replaced with anger and frustration.

"Goddammit! This is all Rock's fucking fault!"

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door followed by an all too familiar voice. "Revy, are you in there?"

Fuck...speak of the devil.

Her ears perked up as she heard the faint click of the door handle.

"Hey Revy, we were all wondering why you disappeared so early yesterday from the Yellow Fla-" Rock was cut off abruptly as an emotionally unstable Revy punched him square in the face, knocking him over onto the bed. Dazed, he tried to sit back up, but only to have her force him back down with her firearm jammed into his skull.

"Revy, what the fu-"

"SHUT UP!" Revy shouted as she shoved her cutlass harder into his head. Rock did as he was told, but was confused. What had her so upset? He looked up hoping to find the answer in her expression, but what he saw put him at a loss for words.

She was an absolute wreck. It looked like she hadn't slept a wink since last night, her hair was a mess and was starting to fall out of its ponytail, and despite her attempt to cover it up, he could tell she had been crying. He felt her hand trembling slightly with the gun aimed at his forehead. It was clear she wasn't angry with him.

She was afraid.

"Revy..." he tried speaking as calmly as possible, his tone indicating his concern for her.

"I said SHUT UP fucking asshole!" Revy spat angrily, but Rock could detect the faint cracks in her voice. He knew he had the upper hand, and he was prepared to call her bluff.

"Fine Revy, go ahead. Shoot me," mocked Rock. He stared back at her with a hard, stern expression, without the slightest hint of fear. He wasn't afraid of her threats. He knew damn well it was all just an act, and it was one he had seen too many times before.

"You don't fucking think I will!?" questioned Revy. She was caught off guard by his smug demeanor and her usual bluff wasn't working. Slightly flustered, she narrowed her eyes and leaned down closer until they were face to face. But Rock wasn't fazed by her act. He continued to stare right back at her.

"No. I don't think you will," he answered firmly.

Revy searched for any sign of weakness in Rock's expression, but he remained stern. Finally, after accepting that Rock wasn't going to give in, Revy removed her cutlass from his forehead and backed off. Frustrated, she turned around toward the sun-blinded window to face away from him.

"Dumbass. You know better than to break into my apartment. Next time I might just blow your fucking cap off."

Rock's felt his temper flare at the insult. "That's bullshit Revy! I've come in here countless times before and you've never once put a gun to my head. What the hell is your problem!?"

Revy didn't respond. She continued to stand facing the window with her cutlass in hand at her side. Rock let out a small sigh. He knew at this rate, he wasn't going to get anywhere playing hard ball. Something was seriously bothering her and if he wanted to find out what, he would have to change his game up. Slowly, he walked up to her from behind and placed his arms around her waist. He felt her stiffen slightly under his touch.

"Revy..." he brought his chin to rest on her shoulder as he spoke into her ear, "please, tell me, what's bothering you?"

Unlike the early days of their relationship, she didn't push him away. While her body still had such a negative knee-jerk reaction to physical contact, he always seemed to have an uncanny ability to make her feel comfortable when he was around. After a long pause, she answered.

"How long have we been doing this Rock? About four or five months now?"

Rock calculated the time in his head. "That sounds about right, but I don't see how that-"

"And how many times have we slept together?"

Rock blushed. "Well, I haven't really been keeping score," he said smiling nervously.

"You said that Dutch and Benny have been talking about how I've been acting weird lately right? How long would you say they've been asking about it?"

Rock looked toward at the ceiling to think. "Uh...probably for only a couple months or so. Now that you bring it up, even Bao mentioned he had noticed you stopped ordering Bacardi for quite some time."

Revy was quiet for a moment. "And when was the last time you saw me with a cigarette Rock?"

"Um...probably about the same time we noticed you stopped drinking."

Revy remained silent. Rock continued to hold her close, seriously confused at her sudden change in behavior. She was way too calm, when only a moment ago she was acting like a rabid dog.

Revy held up her cutlass to show him the blood mark. "Rock...this is what made me sick this morning, the smell of blood on my gun. And the other day when we were passing by the restaurants, the smell of cooking meat did the same thing."

Rock stared down at the cutlass and then back at Revy. Her expression was enough for him to finally fit the puzzle pieces together. Shocked, he loosened his grip on her and stumbled back a bit.

"Revy, are you...are you really-?"

"Yes," she answered coldly before he could finish. Rock stared back at her in disbelief.

"How could...? I thought you said you couldn't-"

"I guess I was fucking wrong Rock," said Revy, her tone a bit sharper. "Fucking shame it's too late now. I've already considered the alternative, but then I risk the word getting out. Even if I threaten to shoot their balls off, any doc in this city would sell that kind of info for a fortune in a fucking heartbeat."

Rock remained silent. He was too busy trying to process what he had just heard. At the same time he was also running though their options. Part of this was his responsibility, and he sure as hell was not about to abandon Revy, at least if he valued his life.

"Are you going to tell Dutch and Benny?" he asked calmly. Revy continued to stare at the floor. Rock could place a heavy bet that probably meant no. He could tell she was at a loss, and frankly, so was he. Doing his best to comfort her, he approached her again, but she surprised him by responding to his advances. She brought her lips up to meet his, which he gladly accepted and returned the favor.

It wasn't long before the two of them soon found themselves on top of Revy's bed, desperately trying to rip one another's clothes off. It wasn't a solution to their problem, but Revy wasn't about to pass up the opportunity. She knew this wasn't entirely his fault and he was doing the best he could to help. At least he would be able to take her mind off of things for a short while.

Breaking away from a kiss, Rock paused and took the opportunity to look over Revy and smiled. Whatever she decided to do, he would be there to help her. He knew she needed him right now and he sure as shit wasn't about to turn her down. Even if she decided to go through with it, he didn't care what changes they might have to face down the road. And before the day got started, he was going to prove to her how just how much she meant to him.

Author's note: It's a little out there, but I had this idea rattling around in my head for a while. We'll see where things go from here. I'm still on the fence about what I am going to do with this story, but it should be interesting. Hope at least some readers find it enjoyable.