"Why doesn't the captain have a girlfriend?"
It had come out of nowhere and Killer had to put a lot of effort into not dropping the piece of machinery he was working on. So he set the precious metal down and turned to face her, knowing that when she asked questions like this that he definitely wouldn't get any work done.
"He's had girlfriends before. You've met some of them, even."
Her nose scrunched up and she looked at the doorway, like she expected Kid to just come walking in any moment soon. He was talking with Luffy and Law so the chances of that were slim.
"But they've never been real. They're always... really like, uhm." She paused and Killer noted the way she wrung her hands together like a kid who didn't want to be scolded by their parents.
"I know what you mean," Killer said with a chuckle, grabbing the water that she had brought in for him before the weird question came up. "But he has had girlfriends. They just weren't really worth much."
Something shifted on her face. Pity or sympathy? Killer couldn't quite figure it out. It looked much too complicated for the girl standing in front of him. He was a little unnerved that she was even wearing such an expression.
"But doesn't he realize that he deserves someone who actually... cares about him?" Her voice was so quiet that Killer almost didn't hear the end of the sentence. He's not even sure he really did, considering it wasn't something he expected to be talking about out of the blue. Where had this come from?
Before he could ask, Kid walked in with a scowl on his face and his temper higher than it had been in a while. Their captain had wanted to work on something to calm himself down after dealing with those two idiots, but when he caught sight of Killer and (Y/n), he paused in his steps. He glared at the two of them, who were now staring at their captain. One had wide eyes and the other he wasn't even sure was staring but it felt like he was.
"What the fuck do you two want?" He grumbled, moving (Y/n) aside so he could get to his work station. He sat down in his chair and roughly pulled down his goggles and got to work on the engine he had left here only hours ago.
"I... guess I'll come back later." (Y/n) mumbled, looking everywhere but at the two in the room and turned on her heels as quickly as she could with a mad dash for the door. It reminded him of a scared little kid and he scoffed at the thought.
No words were exchanged while Kid got to work, but Killer kept staring at the door and had yet to go back to his own project, so Kid knew that his first mate and only real friend had something on his mind. Maybe it was whatever (Y/n) had been talking about.
"Captain," Kid groaned and rubbed a hand over his face, having expected this. He tossed the messy wrench onto the table and listened to it clatter about before turning to look at Killer. He hadn't made much progress anyway. Not with how unfocused he was.
"What do you think of (Y/n)?"
Kid paused for a moment before pushing his goggles back up on his head. Though he expected Killer to ask him something, he hadn't thought it would be something like that! What did he care about that wimpy little girl that Trafalgar had introduced him to? She was only a part of his crew because she was a doctor.
"I don't think about her. Why?" He answered gruffly, hoping that Killer would just get to the point or leave him alone. He had been riled up too much by Trafalgar's sarcastic attitude and Luffy's stupidity. He didn't need this right now.
"She's nice, right?" Killer turned to look at him finally, instead of just staring out the door. Kid scoffed with a roll of his eyes. But then his eyes caught sight of (Y/n) sitting outside with Trafalgar and Luffy. He felt his anger flare up again, though whether it was from just seeing them or seeing them with her, he couldn't say.
"Sure, she's just peachy. Can you please answer why I should I care about the brat?"
If he had been looking at Killer, he would've seen a slight shift in him. Had he been looking at Killer, he wouldn't have seen Trafalgar lean down and whisper something to (Y/n) that made her laugh and push at his shoulder. Like old friends, or something more. He felt his hand clench up and the muscles in his arms twitch. Kid wanted nothing more than to hit something.
Killer stood up and Kid sluggishly turned his attention off of the doctor and to his first mate, but Killer wasn't looking in his direction. He was looking out the door, at the same scene that Kid himself was. Kid wanted him to just answer him, but like many times in their friendship, all Killer did was give him the question so he could find the answer himself.
...He hated it.
When it got late and Luffy had gone back to his own ship, Trafalgar having left hours before, Kid stood on the deck and watched the Strawhat's depart. As their ship got farther and farther away, Kid found his mind felt the same. He didn't understand why one simple question about some simple girl could make him think this hard. What did he really think about her?
Kid huffed, not even turning to look at the owner of the voice. It was the only girl he had on the ship though. Not hard to figure it out. He also didn't turn because he wasn't sure he was one hundred percent together and couldn't handle those understanding eyes of her piece him together without his permission.
"What?" Gruff and to the point. Like most things about Kid. He didn't want to waste too much time on her and didn't want her to realize how off he felt today. Damn Killer.
"I-It's cold out here, so I'll take look out tonight, i-if you want."
That right there pissed Kid off more than anything Trafalgar had said that evening. Who did she think she was, being so nice on his ship? To him, of all people! It wasn't like he went out of his way to be nice to her. He treated her just like he did the others, even less since she was newer. Was she trying to suck up? He hated suck ups.
"Just go to sleep. I don't need you getting sick because you're too stupid to stay out of the cold." He was Eustass Kid. Why would he need some little girl taking over for him? Did she think he was weak? Did she think he couldn't handle it? He was out here in just his jacket and felt fine. She was covered in her jacket and a blanket and was shivering so hard that he could hear her teeth clicking together. It pissed him off.
"O-oh, then I can make you a snack or a drink-"
"Will you just shut up?!"
He spun around and snapped at her, watching how the cold wasn't the only reason for her to shiver now. She couldn't even look him in the eye, not with the way she squeezed her eyes shut. She was so weak, vulnerable. He could toss her off this stupid ship right now if he wanted. She couldn't stop him.
But he didn't want to.
Kid heaved a long sigh and rubbed his fingers over his eyes for what felt like the thousandth time that day. He was so tired of all this thinking because he knew that half of it wasn't true. He didn't hate her, he didn't want to toss her off the ship, he didn't want to yell at her. He even felt guilt rising in his chest at having yelled at her. She didn't deserve it.
He didn't deserve her.
...Shit... Was he protecting himself? Was he protecting her? He couldn't even be sure.
Kid had been so in his own thoughts that he forgot she was still standing in front of him. Though she wasn't cowering anymore and was instead looking up at him with those (e/c) eyes of hers that always looked at him like she just knew. He didn't know what she saw when she looked at him, but whatever it was, he hoped for one moment that she didn't see the same monster everyone else did.
"You're too nice. Why are you even here? Shouldn't you be with Luffy or Trafalgar or something? What is wrong with you? Why did you choose here over anywhere else?"
Her eyes blinked for a moment, like a confused kitten. She stared up at him with those same wide eyes and he felt his chest tighten for a moment. Then she did something that made him clutch at the piece of his jacket that laid over his heart.
She brought a hand up to hide her smile but she couldn't help it and began giggling before it turned into cute laughter that he was sure should almost be illegal. She wasn't allowed to make him feel like this because of a simple action.
His mouth hung open as he stared at her and finally, her eyes met his and he snapped his mouth closed and turned away with a blush across his face. He hated it, but it didn't feel terrible.
"I chose here because you made me feel like I belonged. I chose here because I wanted to deserve being here. I stayed though because I realized that you deserved it."
He glared down at her, though it was half hearted and more at her ability to read him like no one but Killer could do. She always seemed to know exactly what was going through his head. He didn't mind it this time. Meant he didn't have to spell it out for her. He wanted her to stay.
He wanted to deserve it.