The Gold Roger bar was as empty as it had always been. You sat absentmindedly on one of the least damaged barstools near the counter holding a worn bounty poster.
'Wanted-Dead or Alive-Missy Sai-200,000,000 belly'
The picture, however, was what you were most interested in. The young teenage girl in the photo grinned gleefully over her bare shoulder, showing off the prominent black ink etched on her skin. You ran your thumb over the black lines.
Your brow tightened momentarily as you pinged a nail off your glass. "Huh, guess she really does look like me," you mumbled.
"For god's sake, are you still hung up about that, Missy ," Captain Smoker brought down his empty bottle with a slam.
"Oh shut it, Captain ." You let the yellowing paper fall through your fingers to rest among more of its kind on the floor. "Course I am. It's just that no matter what I do, wearing sleeveless tops and whatever, people will always try to arrest me. They just go 'hey, this person hasn't shown up for the last six years and is probably dead in a hole somewhere, but naaah, she must be this random bartender we found who looks vaguely similar'." Raising your glass, you rolled your eyes, "I mean come on, some idiotic marine made a fantastic effort to send me to Impel Down…”
Smoker grimaced, waving a smoke finger over to the shelves of bottles, "We’ve gone over that. It was better for me to be suspicious and you come out innocent than letting that monster escape through my clutches. Everything was solved when you showed me your arm-."
“Okay now excuse me, I showed you ? Now correct me if I’m wrong here, but you literally tore my sleeve off. And I mean literally. You are the reason I started to wear short sleeves in the first place." Drumming your fingers against the bar table, you winked, "Have to say though, you really can be forceful with a woman if you want to be. I’m impressed.”
“It’s my job to be forceful.” He narrowed his eyes as recalled his smoke, bottle in tow, “Gender doesn’t play into the matter.”
"Yeah yeah, all I’m hearing are excuses."
"(y/n)..." Smoker groaned, “ I have enough of that from Tashigi...”
You slumped your head on the bar, “It’s not like it’s my fault half the town are thinking that we’re together or something.”
“Well it is your fault that they’re making such a big deal out of it. The number of times I’ve found you on a roof or in someone else’s tree of all things and have had to chase you off.”
“Okay in my defence trees are comfy. How people can sleep cooped up in buildings is beyond me. Gimme open space any day.”
“...Right. But even Tashigi seems to think of us as a couple.”
You recoiled, “Uuugh. No no no no and no! I’m going to have to have a few words with her, ‘cause this is just not on, no offence Smokey but it just feels wrong .”
“None taken, but good luck getting through to her,” Smoker shuddered, “She’s a romantic, and a fool at that. Thinks since you’re the only person I’m ‘remotely polite to’, whatever that means, then I must like you in someway.”
“Well you’ve gotta admit, she has a point. BUT,” You raised a finger to silence his open mouth, “We both know you’re married to your job, so couldn’t possibly have any unnecessary feelings for anyone. So we’re good.”
He pinched his nose, inhaling sharply, “How the hell do I put up with you…”
“Daaw, you love me really.”
Snorting derisively, he uncorked the bottle and raised it to his lips, “Why of course, that’s what the entire town thinks.”
“Hang on a sec,” You leant over eagerly, “Is that a smile?!”
“Oh my Kruuuh-GOD, it is! It’s a miracle, Captain Smoker is showing actual HAPPINESS!” Bouncing off your seat, you dashed to behind the bar, clapping your hands together, “Now this calls for a party, we need to let the entire town know to set a date.”
You stretched up to grab a bottle, “Should we have the Navy Rum in honour of your bad taste in alcohol? I could use it in my special daiquiri to try and make it drinkable. Oh, but I also do a mean martini…”
“We need to ring up, Sen-goat-ku was it? This needs to be a national holiday. Plus I’m sure that he’d want to know too...”
You bit your lip as Smoker aggressively threw down some money and practically flew past the saloon doors and under the curtain. You waited for a bit, counting to fifty before letting the impending giggles finally spill out.
"You're a wicked woman, (y/n)." The bar owner growled as he shuffled in from the back room with his skull.
"I have no idea what you’re talking about." You skipped over to one of the tables and turned down the two chairs on the table, turning them to face each other across the table. "It’s not my fault he can’t handle some light fun." Sliding over the bar, you gestured to the shelves of your precious alcohol. "What'll it be, sir?"
Raoul gently sat the skull by one chair. His fingers lingered over the large stab wound as he grinned toothily back at you. "I think some of the Clement today. How much did he tip us this time?"
"Some of the '42 Rum? And,” You whistled lowly as you counted the belly notes between your fingers, “It’s a record, 500,000 belly."
"Eh, why not," Raoul chuckled as you retrieved the bottle and poured three glasses, "Now that’s a happy cabbage.”
“A what now?”
“Never you mind brat. You keep the cash, I think you’ll need it more than I will.”
“A ‘happy cabbage’ is old fashioned slang for a ‘tidy sum’. Typically of money.”
You raised an eyebrow, deciding to ignore that tiny voice, "Really? If you’re sure, then don’t mind if I do.”
Raoul was staring at you in confusion as you bought over two glasses, placing one in front of him and the other in front of the skull.
Tilting your head, you groaned, "What?"
"I was meaning to ask, when did you bring out the milk from the back to put in the fridge?"
Sauntering back to your barstool where your drink was waiting, you grinned, "Earlier today. One of my gut feelings, so I think we will need it." You had barely sat down when the clock outside struck 11.
"To a happy retirement." The old bartender raised his glass to you and the skull.
"To finding a new place to live 'cause someone’s kicking me out," Grimacing, you raised your own in return and you both downed your glasses.
Giggling, you put down the glass, "Man that’s good booze. Can you handle another one, old man?"
"Mind who you're talking to, brat. But we might as well start using all this up. Bring some of the same over here."
Refilling your glass, you tossed a bottle towards him without turning. A muted clink told you that Raoul actually caught it, "Nice catch old man."
"I still have it in me, y'know."
Back on your stool, you both sat drinking your rum slowly, reminiscing on old times. Occasionally you pinged your nail against the glass or drummed your fingers against the counter in an odd rhythm. Anything to break the suffocating wave of memories. Those, you had far too many of.
This near silence period continued for an hour, until you heard footsteps approach.
The old man’s knuckles whitened as they gripped his glass.
Almost immediately, you cocked your head to the side to listen. Eventually, "Very light, wearing sandals. I'd say about late teens but don't quote me on that. Definitely not the Captain," you murmured, and the old man relaxed a little. But only a little.
Soon enough a youngish boy pushed past the saloon doors into the bar. You gave him a quick eye-over before returning to your drink. Black hair, a prominent scar under left eye, red top, blue shorts and most noticeably a straw hat with a red ribbon. To your smugness, he was in his late teens.
‘Ha! Not rusty at all.’
The ever present voice in your head sniffed in disdain, “It’s hardly as if we have been sitting around for the past six years doing no training whatsoever.”
The boy looked around the bar before walking in. It was almost like he didn’t register the dust, eyes sparkling as if he instead had entered a treasure trove. His head whipped between you and the old man before he finally decided on Raoul, "Uh...Excuse me, do you work here? The sign hanging outside says this place is called 'The Gold Roger'. How'd it get that name?"
You set down your glass, ‘About damn time.’
Raoul glared at him, unimpressed with the newcomer, "Scram.” He cursed under his breath as the boy merely cocked his head to the side, "You should leave. This isn't a place for unaccompanied children.”
"Besides," You swirled your drink, an absent minded smile on your face, "we're actually just closed up shop for good."
"You're going under?"
Raoul grimaced at the word, "We're not ‘going under’. I've decided to shut it down myself. I'm retiring."
"And kicking me out," You pouted, splaying a hard on your chest and holding a hand above your forehead mockingly, "Oh the humanity! Poor little me!
"Don't try and make us pity you, brat. I've seen you sleep in a damn tree more times than I've seen you sleep in the bar."
Rolling your eyes, you raised your glass, "Still don’t see a problem with that.”
Straw-hat walked hesitantly over to take the seat next to you, "Sorry, I just wanted to know about the name. See, I'm looking for the execution platform, but I'm lost. Could you tell me the way? Wait, what the heck is that?" Abruptly leaning forwards on the stool, his eyes grew to twice their size, "Woah, it's a huge skull! That's so cool!"
You smiled wistfully as Raoul's eyes momentarily regained their old twinkle, "Killer Giant. One of the most feared villains to ever haunt the waters of the Grand Line." He clinked his glass against the one in front of the skull. "He sent hundreds of pirates to their deaths over the course of his life."
Sneaking a glance at the boy, you could tell he was already enraptured.
The old man smirked, "But it only took Gold Roger a single blow to put the behemoth down for good."
"Gold Roger killed him?"
And with that single well timed question Raoul had more life in him than you had ever seen in him before. He animatedly launched off into his precious stories, barely pausing for breath as the excited boy besides you inched over further to the edge of his seat.
But then he stopped. Raoul put down his glass, "Killer Giant was a terrible waste of human flesh anyway, but he proclaimed with his dying breath," the old man leaned over the table, pointing a finger towards the boy, "'Gold Roger, I take my hat off to you. You will forever be...the King...of the pirates'."
You smirked, ‘You have to give it to him, the way he tells them are always entertaining .’
“Agreed. A true bartender so to speak. Even if these tales are not be wholly accurate.”
‘Mello you’re such a spoilsport.’
The boy squealed in excitement, "Awesome! Tell me more!"
The old man began listing more pirates, many powerful and ruthless men that had attacked the seas. 'No one had ever equalled them in battle' and so on. He topped up his glass and raised it. Straw-hat looked like he was about to explode in anticipation.
"But not Gold Roger."
"Yeah?" The boy clenched his fists in awe.
Raoul gave a satisfied sigh, "Nobody ever wants to hear my stories these days."
You twisted around to face him properly, "Hey, I love your stories."
"You could recite my stories perfectly after I told them to you ONCE, (y/n)," The old man sipped from his glass, "The suspense was never there after that."
Raising your own glass to your lips, you giggled, "I guess you have a point, old man."
The boy looked at both of you in confusion, "But I want to hear them," Bouncing up and down on the stool, he turned to Raoul, "Keep talking."
"Now, don't rush me." Smirking, the bartender swirled his drink, "Now Gold Roger...in those days, I s'pose even now, he's the only man I've known not afraid of entering the Grand Line. Back then the Grand Line was a mysterious place…"
Now this part you had heard far too many times to count. Sipping your drink, you let Raoul's raspy voice wash over you. 'The Grand Line…' Your grip on the glass tightened. 'Caspar… Moko… I will see you again.'
“I’ll make sure of it, Missy.”
You gave a wry smile.
The old man put down his glass, "There are no true pirates left, that's why I'm closing down."
The boy grinned widely, swinging his legs, "I'm going to the Grand Line."
Raoul stared at him in shock.
"Really kid?" Smirking, you cradled your head in your hands. "You seem pretty sure of yourself there."
"Hell yeah! Gold Roger's so cool! He's exactly how a pirate's supposed to be! That's why I'm here. To go to the Grand Line, get my hands on the one piece and then, be king of the pirates"
You whistled lowly as the old man's eyes widened, "Those are some pretty big words, kid."
Straw-hat shrugged, "I only said what I meant."
Giggling, you flicked him in the forehead. The texture was odd, but you didn't think too much of it, "I don't know why, but I've decided that I like you." You faced Raoul as he shuffled in your direction, "I think you should wait for a bit to close the bar, old man."
"I think you're right. In that case, let's have a drink. I haven't been in this good a mood in quite some time, since someone came here."
You pouted, "Rude," and downed the rest of the glass.
"Um...I don't drink alcohol."
The barkeep snickered, "Typical (y/n). Knowing what people need before they do themselves. Alright, then how about this." He poured three glasses of milk and passed them to both of you, "Let's raise our glasses together. To the eternal king of the pirates."
"Shishi! To the king of the pirates!"
"Yeah I guess. To the king of the pirates or whatever."
The three of you clinked your glasses together and drank deeply.
"You were looking for the execution platform, right?" you asked, hopping off the barstool "I can show you where to go."
"Really?" He sprung down, "That'd be awesome, thanks."
"Yeah you can go, we have no customers anyways so there's no point in hanging around here. Not that you were going to check with me anyway..." The barkeep rubbed his glasses, before mumbling softly as you exited the bar, "...I hope you enjoy yourself out there, Missy."
Glancing over your shoulder, you smirked slightly before ducking under the curtain.
"So your name is Monkey D Luffy huh?"
The boy's head whipped back from oogling the barbeque stand on the corner. "Yup. And the old man called you Mis-?"
"Call me (y/n) for now. Might change my mind later."
He looked at you strangely, "Do you change your name often?"
You giggled, "Nah, that name was just an old nickname, that's all." Sighing in relief, you glanced at the boy. He marched forwards next to you, eyes eagerly exploring the bustling main street. Probably for more food, that was clear already. "Are you really going to travel to the Grand Line?"
You chuckled at his sure answer, "How many people do you have in your pirate crew so far?"
"You know I'm a pirate?!" He seemed shocked, then his eyes sparkled. "Are you a magician?"
"...You're looking for the One Piece. So duh."
"Oh yeah." Luffy merrily swung his arms as he skipped along. "We only have four other crewmates, but they're super tough," he grinned, "Zoro has cool swords, Usopp tells funny stories and Sanji cooks good meat."
You cocked your head to the side, "That's only three. What about the other one?"
A shadow crossed Luffy's face, "Nami's scary. She won't let me touch her money."
"Sounds like a fun bunch,” you giggled.
“That definitely accords to your definition of fun.”
Pouting, you flicked your shoulder out of habit.
Luffy stopped dead in the middle of the street, and you looked up, "One execution platform, as you wished."
"This is where they executed the king of the pirates," he gulped. "The place where the greatest pirate who ever lived, died. And the place where the great pirate age began."
Raising an eyebrow at his dramatic tone, you shoved your hands in your pockets, "Sooo why did you want to come here again?"
"I wanna see exactly what he saw before then, before he died," he swung his arms around in circles. "Well, here goes!"
You raised an eyebrow, "You doing okay up there?"
"Yup just fine," he grinned down as he slowly slid down the metal pole. His lack of climbing ability was starting to draw a crowd.
Luffy flailed a bit and you groaned, "I'm coming up." You scaled the execution platform with ease, and soon enough, you were perched on a girder slightly above Straw-hat. "I swear that you have the wrong surname. You are nothing like a monkey."
He looked up at you in awe, "Woah, that was fast. Awesome!!"
You sweatdropped, "Focus on the climbing, Luffy, instead of me." You looked down as you could hear a hush in the murmuring, and stiffened slightly.
"Hey. You, kid," Smoker's eyes narrowed, "(y/n)."
“Agreed. That tone of voice-“
‘Mello...just shut up.’
Luffy continued to climb, "I'm kinda busy right now, can it wait a minute?"
Smoker, who wasn’t the waiting type at best, looked like he was about to burst a vein, "(y/n)," he growled, pointing down.
Wincing, you sighed and leapt down, rolling when you hit the floor, "What? You need something Captain?”
"Awwww...Is he your Captain?" The boy slowly sliding down the pole looked a little upset.
"Nah, I just call him that."
"Shishishi, good!" He beamed.
Smoker's eyes narrowed to slits as he kept facing Straw-hat, "(y/n), go and wait in my office right now."
Sucking in a breath to calm your nerves, you scratches the back of your neck, "It was nice to meet you, Luffy.”
"Huh?" The distraught boy flailed his limbs around as he tried to figure out how to get down, "Wait up! I wanna ask you something!"
Sulking off, you waved a hand absentmindedly, "Oh don’t worry. We’re gonna meet again, if I'm not brutally killed by the 'oh so great and powerful one' first."
Another piercing glare bored into your back.
"Yeah, yeah...I'm going already...Don't get your cigars in a twist..."
"Stupid Captain, he never lets me have any fun," you pouted. Arms behind your head, you sauntered through the base in the complete opposite direction to Smoker's office. Turning a corner, the two marines on patrol raised their hands in greeting.
"Well if it isn't (y/n)!"
You mock saluted, “Yo, if it isn’t Barr and Jon! How’re you doing, guys?”
Jon snorted derisively, "What did you do to make Captain Smoker mad this time?"
"Need help getting to his office?" Barr raised an eyebrow, "You don't seem to be going the right way..."
Eyes widening, you swiftly marched past them, "Nah, I'm good thanks. I've been here enough times by now. He just asked me to collect something from the someplace, that's all."
“Hold it, (y/n).” Jon quickly clamped a hand down on your shoulder. “Like we really believe you’re not gonna run off after being spotted in the base.”
You giggled nervously.
Barr groaned, his rifle clunking to the side as he held his head in his hands, “Like seriously, you’ve pulled this on us four times this week alone.”
“And it’s only Wednesday…”
“Bu…uh...but,” you attempted to snatch the words out of the air, “but angry Smoker…”
The two marines exchanged a pitying look.
“Yeah, we know. But he’s going to be even angrier if we just let you go.” Jon smiled apologetically as he steered you towards the dreaded office, “I’m sorry (y/n)... but we’ve got to do this.”
A movement told you that Barr had swiftly grabbed your other side. You were trapped.
You sighed, “Fine…” and reluctantly allowed yourself to be frogmarched by the two marines.
Turning the next corner, you glanced down to see a yellow sign saying 'Caution, cleaning in progress!'. Further down the corridor you could see a green haired man, who in your eyes looked like he should be doing anything other than mopping floors.
"Crap this is going to take the whole damn day. Unless..." he picked up two more mops from the pile in the corner and placed one between his teeth.
Your eyes widened in recognition, 'why is he here?' .
Pirate hunter Zoro made quick work of the floor as he swiped with all three mops, leaving it spotless. "Three mop technique worked like a charm."
'He can't be serious, right?'
“It appears that he is, Missy.”
‘Oh dear Kronos…’
Jon and Barr gasped and rushed towards the intruder, "Hey you! Just what do you think you're doing?"
As he turned to face them, Barr whimpered, "It's Zoro, the pirate hunter!"
"WHY ARE YOU CLEANING?"
'Oh dear lord he is!'
“I told you.”
"Intel says you teamed up with Monkey D Luffy's crew."
You raised an eyebrow. So this was the Zoro the kid was talking about.
The marines reached for their swords, "Drop the mop!"
'DO THEY REALISE WHAT THEY'RE SAYING?!'
Mello was too busy cackling to respond.
The swordsman quickly spun around and incapacitated both Jon and Barr with blows to the backs of their heads. As they lay unmoving on the floor, you couldn't hold it back for much longer. You laughed so hard you had to bend over clutching your sides, "I know Luffy said that you had 'cool swords' or whatever, but your three mop technique is something else."
Zoro glared at you suspiciously as he dropped the mops, "How do you know Luffy?"
"Oh he just burst into our bar saying he was going to be king of the pirate before getting caught climbing the execution platform."
"That sounds like him alright..." He frowned as he scribbled a memo and threw down some belly notes on top of one of the marines, "That idiot…"
Rubbing your head, you giggled nervously, "I should thank you, by the way. Those two weren't going to leave my side until Smoker comes back, and boy I do not want to stay for that," You held out a hand, "(y/n)."
He shook it hesitantly, "Zoro."
"Oh I know," Smirking, you tilted your head to the side, "You know, you could quit piracy and take up cleaning. I'm sure the circus will just love you. You keep the stage clean and provide a good show. It’s a win win.”
He froze, vein twitching, "Think you're something special, do you?"
"Oh you have no idea, Mop-boy," You pointed to his single sword, "You normally have three swords yeah? So you need more?"
The scowl vanished .
"I'll take that as a yes," You started to walk away before you smirked over your shoulder, "Come on, I'll take you to a shop."
He straightened and crossed his arms, "Ph as if that’s gonna happen. I barely know you," Turning on his heel, he stalked off, "and you really expect me to trust you after you just insulted me?"
"Oh lighten up. I thought it was a compliment," you pouted, before counting down off your fingers. "Well first off, you're heading in the wrong direction. That’s the way to Smoker's office. Unless you want an earful, stay well away."
He spun around with a beet red face and marched towards you.
You placed a hand on your chin in mock thought, "Second, from my observations your sense of direction sucks. Majorly. Third, I've lived here for just about 4 years, which is just a teensy weensy bit longer than you have.” Giggling, you smirked at him, "Convinced yet?"
Growling in frustration, he stopped and glared at you over his shoulder, "Ok, you have a point."
You raised an eyebrow nonchalantly.
"Fine...several points." Zoro stretched his arms above his head, "So take me to this swords place you know."
"Sure, and we should be quick about it. I was supposed to be at Smoker's office by now, let alone the fact you wiped out a patrol," you giggled, "...Mop-boy."
"STOP CALLING ME THAT!"
"NOT A CHANCE! It suits you."
"LIKE HELL IT DOES!"
It took just over an hour to get to a shop ten minutes away. As soon as the store was in sight, you rounded on the oblivious swordsman, "How the hell can someone get lost that many times when they are FOLLOWING SOMEONE."
"I was taking a shortcut," he grumbled defensively.
"I'm going back to the Gold Roger. I need a drink."
Zoro's face lit up, "I might join you. I'm always up for booze."
You stared at him, "...what about the swords?"
"I-I meant later!” he spluttered.
"Oh suuure. My mistake…" You turned away from the shop and started to walk off before you felt a familiar twinge in your temple. You frowned, "Actually you should probably head to the plaza after this. Someone should be able to point it out to you, Mop-boy. I'm planning to head there after I sort this last little thing out"
Zoro bristled at the nickname, but the expression swiftly faded, "Why do you say that?"
You waved briskly over your shoulder without looking back, "Call it a gut feeling."
On the way back to the Gold Roger, you reached a commotion in the middle of the street. Feeling curious, you effortlessly scrambled up to perch on a shop awning. There seemed to be some flamenco dancers in the eye of the storm if people; two men with strange heads and a woman.
You winced. She could have been pretty, but boy did she need to sort out her hair.
Caught in the centre of their ‘act’, stood a dumbfounded blond with his back to you. His head whipped back and forth as the other three pranced back and forth before him. Then...
"You are beauty itself!"
Groaning, you face palmed as the blond smoothly dropped to one knee.
‘I didn’t think people like that actually existed…’
“He could at least raise his standards.”
He got up and started to walk towards the startled woman, who evidently had not expected this change in events, "It is my greatest dream come true! Yes, beauty has come searching for meee~."
You winced in horror as what seemed to be like one of the cringiest transponder radio sitcoms played out before your eyes. It was painful to watch. You did pick up some useful bits of information, such as Flirty was known as one of the best cooks in the East Blue.
As well as the destructive power of frying pans.
The woman, Carmen, pointed a finger at Eyebrows,"Now I challenge yooouuu, Sanji."
Flirty took a tentative step back. You couldn't blame him.
“Missy,” Mello hummed, “I believe Sanji was the name of a member of Straw-hat’s crew.”
You grimaced, ‘Well that’s just great…’
"If you dare bring your spices to the marketplace cooking competition at one this afternoon, you will be minced! Like garlic before heated oil! In a pan! HOhohohoho~" Carmen started spinning on one leg at such an amazing speed that to the casual observer, it probably looked like she was actually taking off from the ground like a tornado. That is, to the casual observer. You merely grimaced as the idiotic woman instead got dizzy and fainted. Squeaking, her two minions continued cream out her pathetic challenge as they carried her away.
The crowd blinked a couple of times incredulously, shrugged, and then went about their daily lives.
You sweatdropped as you swung down just behind the motionless blond, "Talk about anticlimactic..."
Sanji ogled in the direction that they left in with (you did a double take) hearts in his eyes, "Ah...finally. A woman with a passion like mine."
Noting the impressively curly eyebrows, you tapped him on the shoulder, "So, it’s Sanji right?"
"Yeah…" He didn’t even turn, a line of smoke puffing out of his cigarette.
Your brow tightened momentarily, ‘He can’t be one of the-‘
“He is. Bone structure and distinctive eyebrows, along with a similar name. It’s almost certain.”
You grimaced, before schooling your features into a wide smile, "Are you going to compete in that competition or what?"
"Huh?” He smirked, finally moving to glance over his shoulder, “Oh, nah. I don't participate in conte..."
You groaned as he stared at you, eyes once again morphing into hearts.
“Such a curious phenomenon. I wonder if it's an unusual disease or something…”
"Waaah! Yet another beautif-"
Holding out a hand, you glared at him, "Not a chance. You need to improve your flirt-game before you can try that with me."
You sighed, pinching the bridge of your nose in disdain, "Look, you’re a part of Luffy's crew, right? You ‘cook good meat’ or something?"
At once the hearts disappeared, and a suspicious but curious look appeared on Sanji's face as he began appraising you differently, “What do you know about Luffy."
You paraphrased what happened earlier.
"So you met Moss-head, huh? And that sure does sound like the captain." He puffed out a line of smoke, "Yeah I'm in his crew, so what do you want?”
"Just to say that firstly you should probably compete in that cooking contest if you’re a cook. The prize is usually a rare fish that should be found in other Blues. And even if you don't enter, the fish market down there is quite a sight. Well worth a-" You paused and poked your head as your temple throbbed. 'Well Mello...it appears that you really are right. We haven’t been this active for years.'
“No need to sound so surprised, I am always correct.”
"What the hell is an Elephant Blue-fin Tuna Fish anyways..."
The cook's eyes widened, "What did you just say?”
Wincing from the headache, you shrugged, "Elephant Blue-fin Tuna, I think." The pain quickly faded and you sweatdropped at the dumbfounded Sanji. "That's a special fish, judging on your reaction, right?"
Nodding, he enthusiastically grasped your hands, "It's sometimes called the Gem of the Ocean, and is often known as a miracle food, but it's found in the South Blue so many cooks here have never seen it."
"Then it's probably the grand prize in the cooking contest,” you mumbled as you gingerly detached yourself.
He laughed almost too quickly, "Didn't you hear me? It's found in the South Blue, it can't be here," Still smiling, his eyes narrowed, "It can't."
“I don’t see why not.” You shrugged, "We're in Loguetown, you realise. Because we're so close to the entrance to the Grand Line, the currents round here get messed up so we get lots of fish from other Blues. Ask the fishermen down at the market, they'll probably explain it better."
Sanji stood there in shock.
Sighing, you raised an eyebrow, "Look, if you don't believe me, and I think you really should, then let's go. I'll take you to the market, it isn't far." You giggled slightly, "I guess I'll play tour guide just for today."
He frowned, "I'm not really sure if I believe you or not yet. It's...a little much to take in so I will gladly take up your offer uh…" Sanji cocked his head to the side, "I've just realised that you haven't given me your name, mademoiselle." Bowing elegantly, he smiled up at you, "It seems a little unfair considering that you know mine, chérie."
Rolling your eyes, you braced yourself for what was to come, "(y/n)."
"Aaaaah (y/n)-chwan! The name of an angel~" The cook had hearts in his eyes again, and was so agitated that he looked like he was a tornado.
'Definitely an unusual disease .' You grimaced as you sauntered towards the market while Sanji babbled aimlessly about your 'beauty' or something next to you.
“At least he is harmless.”
"Hey is that what I think it is?" You were raised out of your thoughts with a cry from the docks.
Smirking, you raised up an arm in front of Sanji. He ceased his complimenting, raising an eyebrow. You just held a finger to your lips and motioned to the docks.
"No way! Is that…"
"IT'S AN ELEPHANT BLUE-FIN TUNA!"
The cook's cigarette slowly fell from his mouth, "No way…"
"Well this is going to be the grand prize in the cooking contest, for sure."
Eyes widening mockingly, you clapped your hands to your face, "Oh wooow! No waaay! It looks like I was right. Who'd have thought, huh?" You turned to Sanji, "So you entering that contest now or what?"
“That was a tad excessive.”
You stuck out your tongue.
Sanji slowly span around to gape at you, "How did you…"
Raising a hand to shield yourself, you glanced up at the sun. It was almost one o’clock, "If you want to enter, you should probably get a move on. Entry closes soon."
He nodded as if dazed and started to sprint towards the market place with a childlike grin on his face.
"Oh," your eyes widened and you cupped your hands to yell after him, "forgot to say, if you compete in the cooking contest or not, at some point you should head over to the plaza. I have a feeling that something's about to go down at some point after the contest."
He waved without looking back, "Got it. I do hope to see you again soon, (y/n)-chwan!"
You grinned until he was out of sight, before letting your face darken. 'What was a Vinsmoke of all people doing here?’
“In addition, he is on that boy’s crew.”
You dipped your head before smiling, ‘That smile though...He really doesn’t act like one of them, does he.’
“I suppose not…” Mello sighed, or at least a sigh echoed through your thoughts, “The world would be in a far better state of his entire family acted the same.”
Finally turning back towards the Gold Roger, you dipped your head in agreement. You look at the cloudless sky and your temple throbbed again, 'Damn, not again.' You grinned, 'I guess that just means today's the day you finally come back, huh Mello?'
He hummed, “About time too. I hope you do not take offence, Missy, but I really miss being a physical object.”
You stretched your arms above your head and giggled loudly, "Anyhow, I guess there's going to be one hell of a storm today."
After you sorted out everything with Raoul and stowed your belongings into what you thought was Luffy’s ship, you started to walk quickly to the plaza. Hurrying down the main high street, you threw on your brown bomber jacket and strapped two leather pouches to your belt. You were late.
Your suspicions were answered as hordes of people scrambled towards you screaming about pirates in the plaza. "Hell yeah!" You giggled, and started to dash through them, dodging the occasional flailing limb. Finally emerging from the throng, you stood staring up at the execution platform once more and took in the chaos that surrounded it.
Luffy, it seemed, had finally made his way to the top of the platform. However, he didn’t seem as joyful as you would have expected. A fact possibly caused by the stocks that encircled his neck and wrists.
Ignoring the circus rejects that we’re currently ‘threatening’ the stragglers of the civilian stampede, you instead focused on those in command. By your deductions, there were two: a man with a large red nose, and a slim woman who had evidently taken good care of her skin. You wracked your brains for old bounty posters that carpeted the Roger. Identifying Buggy was easy, but it took quite a bit of time to put your finger on Alvida.
'Had she gone on a diet?' You whistled in low respect. ‘I need to get in on that food plan.’
Instinct taking over, you slowly made your way through the hostages and towards the platform. All the while, you kept an ear out to take in the situation.
"To all of my followers,” Buggy stretched out his arms and laughed maniacally, “the hundreds of billions of them around the world. We will now super flashily begin the public execution."
‘Oh he’s a monologuer. That makes our job easier.’
“Precisely. That enables us to listen, and then consider a plan to get the boy ou-.”
“MISSY ARE YOU INSANE!? I SAID LISTEN!”
‘Eh,’ you shrugged, ‘I got bored.’
"Huh," Luffy snapped his head towards you as you sauntered our onto the open, "Oh hey it's you, (y/n)!" He grinned, "See, I got up to the top. Told you I could!"
You opened your mouth to reply only to be halted by cold metal being rammed against your head.
"Not another step, missy."
Cracking your neck, you sighed wistfully, "Man it’s been a while since I heard someone other than Smokey or the old man call me that. It’s gonna have to take some getting used to." Quickly you whipped out your daggers from their hip pouches and jammed a hilt between the eyes of the pirate behind you. You watched satisfied as he collapsed on the floor, tossing a dagger in the air and deftly catching it, "But I’ll manage somehow."
The pirates openly gaped. Luffy was the first to react, "Awesome! You're really strong!"
"Well duh.” Tilting your head up at him, you placed a hand on your hip “So how about you just ask me already. It's written all over your face."
He sniggered, "You really are magic! So cool!" He closed his eyes, in a fake deliberation. "I have decided," he cried, "you're going to be a part of my crew."
“Well that is a declarative statement…”
‘As if we were going to say no,’ you pointed a dagger at him, "Count me in, Cap!"
Luffy looked ecstatic for someone in his situation, "Wahoooooooooo! We got a new crewmate!"
"If you are quite finished," Buggy growled, reappearing on top of the platform in...bits…
"I will flashily execute Straw-Hat Luffy after my men are done with you, you shameless woman." The madman cackled maniacally. "Today is the day that the world learns to fear Buggy the Clown."
"Oh I’m not so sure about that,” you hummed, foot slinking back into a familiar stance, “You don’t know who you’re up against. I guess it wouldn’t really matter if you did. You’re all gonna get owned, flashily .”