“I wasn´t aware you could use Armament Haki” Rocinante told Akane with a frown of concentration as he carefully followed Law´s instructions to bandage the bite marks on her arms.
“Me neither.” Akane shrugged, unconcerned, petting Bepo´s furry head like nothing was wrong with the statement that had left out of her lips.
“What.” He and Bell-mère squeaked in shock.
“I mean, I assumed I could because I´m able to use Observation and Conqueror Haki when the situation requires it. But I didn’t had the opportunity to try it before today.” Akane added, looking calm and relaxed, like she wasn´t speaking nonsense. “I´m glad it worked, tough. It would had been terrible if it didn’t.”
Slowly, the horrifying implications of that fallen in place: Akane had just picked a fight with Grand Line pirates without knowing if she would be able to survive.
“Are you insane?!” Bell-mère screamed at her as she hit her in the head. Like she would do with Nami or Nojiko after they pulled a stupid stunt. Akane pouts at her and rub the sore spot in her head, but didn’t say anything to defend herself.
“What´s Armament Haki?” Law intervened, before Bell-mère could start scolding Akane for her imprudence (Because what if she hadn´t been able to use it! She would have been killed!), and sending the ex-marine a dark look for hitting his patient.
“Is when you create an armour with your aura. It turns your skin black and more resistant than any metal.” Rocinante explains in simple terms, petting Law´s head, abstinently ignoring the scowl in the child´s face. “Not everyone can do it. But most D can…Is that what you were thinking, Akane?” He wonders as he gazes to his partner.
“I´m new on this thing of fighting and I don´t have a very good control. But…I´m also a natural. And you know I couldn´t back off on this. They needed to go. So they couldn´t do more damage that they already had.” Akane admits softly, looking directly into Cora-san eyes, and he sighs, tiredly. He knows. He understands.
It´s a moment so intimate that Bell-mère blushed slightly. She wasn´t a romantic person, but in that instant she wanted for a connection like that. Then, shook herself, there was no time to think about things like that. She didn’t need a companion. She has her daughters and that´s enough.
(She also wonders what is what Akane means with her words but knows better than asks right now.)
“At least try to not pick up fights with bigger and meaner pirates than you. Ok?” He asks as he returns to bandage her arms.
Akane chuckles. “I can try.” Then winces. “But I´m starting to think that maybe hand to hand combat is not really for me.” She adds with a grimace. This is better than broken bones for sure but is not something she would like to repeat and as she knows she is going to fight bigger and meaner things than her, she´s open to find something that allows her to not end up wounded like this so often.
“Why?” Asks innocently Bepo, blinking his big eyes at her.
“Because, unlike you, darling, I don´t have claws or pointy teeth to maim my enemies.” She kisses his furry face and the cub chuckles and nuzzles her back. Then, looks back at Cora-san and Bell-mère. “Maybe a sword?” In a way that can only means Would you teach me?
“Marines are taught the basics.” Bell-mère says, smiling brightly. “I can teach you if you want.”
“That would be lovely, thanks.”
Akane smile is gentle, but her eyes are like a tempest; powerful, devastating and incredible beautiful. In that moment Bell-mère has no doubt that she´s a D and that the say she heard a long time ago (The D will bring a storm.) was right and couldn´t wait to see what Akane would bring to the world.
Nami, one day, a boy with a straw-hat will come to see you and ask you to become his nakama. You can accept his offer and roam by the oceans free and unbound. You will live incredible adventures and you will never be alone, because he will be at your side and you will see the sun every time he smiles at you.
Or you can stay here and will find yourself happy with Nojiko and Bell-mère. You will find a boy who will love you and have a big family. But you won’t know what hides in the unexplored oceans behind the Grand Line.
They stayed a month in Cocoyasi. When they left, the villagers gift them a bigger boat –where they could take all the tangerines they wanted– in thanks for saving them from the unfortunate destiny at Arlong´s hands.
Bell-mère gifted Akane her old sword as a parting gift and in return Akane promised that she will return to visit her and the girls again. But Bell-mère was aware that they wouldn´t see each other for a long while.
She could felt it in the air.
But promised that she would keep tracks of her on the newspaper, completely sure that Akane would hit the news sooner or later. People like her just couldn´t avoid it. It was on their blood.
“Where to go?” Asked Corazon on they were on the ocean.
“Goa Kingdom.” Akane breathed out with hardened eyes and her heart clenched with trepidation, she had postponed that visit too much already. She could only hope she wasn’t too late. It had been luck that they had arrived before Arlong and had been able to avoid Bell-mère´s death.
She had been enjoying her time with Cora-san, Law and Bepo, than anything that challenged that happiness had been pushed out of her mind without a second thought. But it was time.
Wait for me, Ace, Sabo, Luffy.
Please, be alright.
Please, let me arrive in time.