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Born this way

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On paper, the plan was simple. In reality, it was not. It could sum up both their lives.
On one side, Pudding had to kill that idiotic germa prince, who was enamoured with her, as if she was the angel supposed to save him from perdition. Ridiculous! That’s what she thought all along. She knew she wasn’t an angel, she was a monster. He just hadn’t seen her true face yet. He’ll change his mind after that. After he sees her third eye. They always do. How could it be different? It never was. She lost hope a long time ago.

On the other side, Katakuri was just supposed to attend the party and make sure the wedding goes the way they had planned. Kill the Vinsmoke, prevent the straw hats from interfering in the wedding … That was supposed to be simple, right? How could that go wrong when he, one of the Sweet Commander, was here? He was the favourite brother of all his siblings, the strongest of all. He doesn’t bend down nor get down nor fall down. Not for anyone nor by anyone’s doing.

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On paper, the idea of Totland being a place where every person of each species would live in harmony with each other was a good idea. In reality, it was just that. An idea, a sweet utopia that wouldn’t get real. Whole Cake Island was just a lie.

‘’Your eye is beautiful’’

She still couldn’t believe what he had said. No one ever said something like this to her. Was Sanji really that different from the people she had met? Or was it just a cruel joke? No, the pirate had seemed perfectly honest. He was even confused by her breakdown after his response. Like what he said was normal, just the regular thing a person could say to one another. Pudding didn’t understand after the wedding and was still processing the whole thing while helping them to escape, which resulted in her erratic behaviour. Changing constantly her mind from the lovesick girl to the angry pirate of Big Mom’s crew and vice versa, trying to hide her emotions – or control them? She couldn’t even tell anymore – from her family and her fiancé. His behaviour hadn’t changed, still treating her like she was normal. Like she wasn’t the abomination her family thought she was and she had tried to become to overcome all the pain that their bullying made her feel. Her own mother had told her to cover her third eye so that she didn’t have to look at it anymore. Pudding had made him believe lies since the day they met and not once did he act badly toward her. He was so gentle and she didn’t deserve it. What was she supposed to believe? If her own family made her feel that way, why would a complete stranger she had met a few days ago change anything? Sanji wasn’t going to stay anyway, was he? Was it the only solution? Did she have a future that waited for her somewhere else or did she have to stay here forever? So, when she had the possibility, she asked him a favour. One that she hoped he wouldn’t refuse her. One kiss, just one, and it would be like they had never met him if he wanted it. Even if she hoped not. She desired from the from the depths of her heart that she would see her prince again.

He lost. He, Katakuri, the greatest fighter of Big Mom’s crew, had been defeated. Though he couldn’t believe it, he was somehow relieved. He didn’t know what he would become after his defeat, but in a way, he didn’t really care about it. For the first time in his life, he had fallen down, beaten by the incommensurable will and strength of his opponent. Monkey D. Luffy was one hell of a surprise to him. Not only was he a powerful adversary but an honourable one and worthy of respect as well. When his sister, Flambe, had mocked him, Katakuri hadn’t been able to let them interfere much further into the fight than they already had. He had taken off his scarf and let everyone see what made him a monster by other’s opinions. His sharped tooth and wide mouth that could enlarge itself enough to let him eat enormous doughnuts. Luffy had already seen it but he hadn’t made a comment on it. Not one single mean commentary about it from him. The captain didn’t do it at this point either, but his siblings? They, who had been praising him merely minutes, damn… merely seconds ago, were laughing at him at this moment because of his disgraceful facial features. It wasn’t the first time, far from that and it probably wouldn't be the last. He wasn’t used to it, never could be, never would be. It still hurt as much as before. But Monkey D. Luffy never laughed at him, on the contrary, he respected him as a fighter and an enemy. Both of them had for each other the same high amount of respect and esteem. It was like it allowed them to know each other better thanks to their fight. The cherry on the top was after he lost. Not only satisfying himself in having beaten Katakuri respectfully, Luffy had to cover his face with his black hat to help him so that when people would search him, they wouldn’t see his face. That, on top of all that had happened, was the most powerful emotionally speaking thing that he had done. Katakuri was thankful to him. How could Luffy be like that when people from his family were disgusted by him and calling him a monster? He hadn’t felt as much sympathy and respect toward someone like that since a long time. Sometimes, he would feel far from proud for being a part of Big Mom’s crew and family. At the moment, it was one of those times. He just wished he could go and never come back again. How many times had he dreamed of it?

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For the two siblings, their meetings with the two pirates were like a breath of fresh air. Meeting someone who would treat them like they deserved to be was like a dream came true. But the cruel thing was that the captain and his cook didn’t even know what they had done. Like it was normal. And it was. To people like them, treating people decently wasn’t an extraordinary thing. It was just the way they were. To them, the two were born this way, there was nothing worth to be changed and nothing to laugh at. And it was the best gift Pudding and Katakuri had ever received.

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As the Straw Hat made his way back to the ship, still asleep and carried by his cook, Sanji, the two siblings were both thinking something similar.
‘’If only I could go with them …’’