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A woman in the crew

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Pretending to be a boy had always made things easier in life. From simple things like walking on the street undisturbed, to joining various pirate crews. In some way or other, you had managed to join the Whitebeard Pirates in the 16th division, Izo being your commander. 

You had not told him or anyone else of the crew of your status when you joined the crew, and you have no intention to do it quite yet. All they know is that you don’t like taking your shirt or pants off, so you have gotten the nickname “Shy sword”. 

This is because you are an apt swordsman, but won’t show anyone your “meat sword”. You don’t really care about the nickname, teasing anyone right back whenever it’s brought up. You don’t get into the Whitebeard pirates without tick skin. 

Izo had taken a liking to you pretty much straight away when you joined, and you felt the same. Even if he technically was your superior you had become fast friends. You talk to each other very day, you have almost become Izo’s second in command by now. 

Many even consider you to be so, even if its not really ‘official’. You really enjoyed his company, and him yours. You both might like it even more than either of you let on, but for now those feelings were left unspoken.

You had figured that at some point the truth would or should come out, but you hadn’t really planned anything about how to go about it. Which is why you shock yourself when you just let it slip out one night when you are alone with Izo. 

You are in his cabin, having lost another round of cards. Looking at him while he starts dealing another round, the words slip out of your mouth before you can stop yourself.

“I’m a woman.” Izo stops his dealing and looks up at you, confused look on his face.

“What did you say?” You consider lying for a moment, brushing it of like it was nothing, but you know you can’t.

“I’m a woman. I’ve pretended to a man this whole time.” Izo blinks, then leans back in his chair, cards still in hand.

“Okay, any reason you telling me now? Because I had no clue and would have never thought about unless you told me.” You shrug.

“Figured I should tell it at some point.”

“Why did you do it though?” You shrug.

“Been doing it for so long. I started doing long before I even thought about joining the Whitebeard pirates, so it was just easy to just continue doing it I guess. Makes life easier and better than being a woman.” 

“I guess that is true.” A few seconds of silence. “Do you want to tell the crew?” Another shrug from you.

“I guess. Don’t know how though.” Izo smiles at you, a private one you rarely see.

“You could just drop it on them, like you did to me. Not make a big thing out of it.”

“I could do that.” Izo nods and goes back to dealing out cards again. You are halfway through a round when you speak up.

“I’m just going to say it during dinner tomorrow.” Izo nods at that, and you go back to the card game. You lose again.

You had said that you were going to tell everyone during dinner, so that’s exactly what you do the very next day. During a lull in the constant noise of a 100+ men eating and speaking, you raise your voice slightly to be heard of the chatter of your crew mates.

“I want to tell you all, I’m a woman and have been the whole time I’ve been in this crew.” Silence for a heartbeat, then whispers starts. You sit there, tense and awaiting your crewmates judgement. 

Across from you a swordsman called Barim you often spar with, chews his food with a thoughtful look. You catch his eyes with yours, and he gestures at you with his fork when he speaks.

“Does that mean we should call you ‘Swordless’ now?” The question sends most of the crew into a uproar of laughter, you can’t help but facepalm and sigh, hiding a smile. What a bunch of idiots.

Izo can’t help his heart racing at seeing your hidden smile. He’ll examine that feeling later he decides, for now he’s content with joining the teasing from the rest of the crew.