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Her ears were ringing, her breath stolen from her lungs as she stared at the gun facing her crewmate, her legs trembled and so she dropped. The world continued on around her as her knees stung at the harsh contact with the ground.

“Please, no,” she whispered, the sound of her own broken voice shocking her and bringing her back to that dark dank prison she had been forced into as a child.

She heard Luffy yell, Nami scream, glass breaking, Chopper’s sweet voice saying something but all she could see was the end of this: the death of her crew.

They wouldn’t win, she knew that. She had known that since first coming up with the plan to save her and she felt a fool for even believing for a second that it could work. And when they lost, either from dying during battle or being captured and imprisoned before being killed, everything would be wrong. Her heart thudded loudly in her ears, muffling the sounds of the fight going on around her.

What were they thinking when they thought they could beat a Yonko with the pitiful amount of people they had? She brought her hands up to her face, wiping at the tears gathering there before grabbing the locks of her own hair. How could they be so foolish? Hadn’t they spent two years apart in hopes of getting stronger and be better, yet they acted as reckless as they would’ve during the beginning! Rushing into a fight head first because they could.

Her lungs burned as she forced out a breath, eyes looking upwards to the woman standing above her. Her own groom had long since left the altar to go fight and all she could do was  slump to the ground and cry. She truly was weak.

“Did you truly think Mom would try to kill someone she could use later on?” Pudding, sweet looking Pudding, asked, laughing lightly.

They had tricked her. They had tricked them all.

“Everything you saw was just a ploy to bring out your hiding crew. You lead them right into the slaughter.”

Body reacting before her mind could catch up, she pushed upwards and felt her arm swing backwards, catching Pudding across the face, knocking the other woman to the ground. An angry look crossed her face before she grabbed the bunches of her skirt and turned to run. She had to stop this and in her mind, there was only one way to go about do that.

She had to find Luffy.

If she could convince him to leave, come back and save her when they weren’t in the middle of Big Mom’s territory, then she was sure that they would live. It would be hard, Luffy was an overzealous person who defended his friends to the death, but she was sure that she could force it through his brain that they weren’t strong enough to go against everyone in Big Mom’s crew and that if he didn’t take Nami and Chopper and Brook and whoever else he needed to and get off the island, then they’d all die.

Sanju’s heart dropped as she found Luffy fighting Katakuri. Kicking herself for being so slow to respond to the world around her, she quickened her pace right as Luffy was about to attack. She had to stop this before it became too much.

Her decision to jump into the middle of a battle between her captain was not her brightest one; it was one of desperation, of trying to control a situation that she had been forced into. Only problem, the situation had fallen out of her hands long before the moment she opted to stand in front of Luffy, arms spread with her back to Katakuri, eyes full of tears and voice hoarse as she begged him to leave, begged him to forget her until he was strong enough to come for her again.

Her sister would tell her that her words had been moving, that it seemed as if the fight had stopped as she begged and cried, that it was because of her words that after Luffy had been beaten by Katakuri and the others captured, they had been allowed to leave alive on the Sunny. If they would stay alive, well that wasn’t something that mattered anymore, now was it?

But she couldn’t remember her actions, not past her begging Luffy to leave her and save himself and the others. She could remember Luffy’s reaction, that confident smile and unbridled joy that couldn’t be beaten by nothing, but then nothing.

Reiju told her that she had been hit by a stray bullet – she had a wound that backed that up – and was thrown to the ground by her husband’s attack, knocked out near immediately. Sanju wasn’t sure she fully believed her sister, she refused to believe anyone where she was, but she hoped that it was true. If her crew were alive that meant that they could still come to save her when they were at full strength.

Her blue eyes turned from her sister’s face, the bright sight of Whole Cake Island greeting her. This was going to be her home. A sigh escaped her lips as she hoped for her sister to take the initiative and leave her to her thoughts. Reiju though had other plans.

“After you’ve healed up, Father expects you and Katakuri to move to Komugi Island,” she said, leaning her head on her hand slightly, bored expression on her face. “Big Mom says that she plans to send forces with Father after she’s seen a defrosting in your behavior towards her son.”

“I have no plans for that to happen,” Her ideal husband was not that man she married and she’d be damned if she played nice. “I’ll be as cordial as I am towards anyone who wishes me harm.”

“He doesn’t wish you harm sister, you’re his wife .”

She huffed, arms crossing over her chest. It was better to look at the sickly sweet world outside than be forced to look into the face of someone she thought was different. Her sister sighed herself before her chair scratched backwards and Sanju heard her retreating steps. She pushed down on the wriggling feeling in her gut that made her feel bad for being rude to her sister and instead focused on her anger.

If there was one thing Sanju could focus on, it was her anger.

How her sister, who had played her so nicely into believing that they were more alike that Sanju could ever think, could act like nothing had happened, the blonde cook didn’t know. All she did know was that it left a sour taste in her mouth and she regretted ever feeling the urge to save her family. It seemed that they were all backstabbers and liars.

A soft noise, not a sob but not a sigh, escaped her lips. This was going to be her life, not able to trust anyone and missing her true family.