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scarred but not beyond repair

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Dozing, Luffy sits against the wall of the quarters given to him aboard Barto’s ship. It’s lavish. Floor newly lined with velvet, along with the windows, and as Luffy shifts he realizes the walls just might be covered too. It’s fuzzy—and weird. 

Across the room, Law grumbles in his sleep. A sharp inhaling of air sucks in through his lips and it nearly sounds pained. Like he’s been hit, and Luffy jumps up at once on alert—but finds nothing.

As he creeps closer, Luffy watches Law’s left hand start to dig at his bandages. Luckily, he did them himself and they’re tied tight. Luffy knows, because his too were done by Law, and he couldn’t get them off either. 

Law whines, low and pained as his back arches off the floor, and his hand still digs at the overlapped material. Blunt nails gliding over the reddened cotton, his fingers slip beneath a layer, and Luffy quickly reaches out to grab his wrist. 

Curled tight around Law, Luffy let’s himself reel in slowly. He knows how strong Law is, injured or not, and the last thing he wants to do is lose his head because he scared him. So when he gets close, he moves carefully, laying in the space between Law’s injured arm and chest. 

This way, Luffy figures it’s harder for him to reach across to the bandages, and maybe, just maybe Law can get some well-deserved rest.

Tracing his finger over the white, Luffy sighs. No matter how good Law is, it’s gonna leave a scar, and he knows all too well about that. His own itches a little at the thought and he brushes it away. He’s fine now; it’s Law that needs help.

“It’s not all bad.” Luffy says reaching out his free hand. His fingers trace the thick black lines on Law’s forearm and Luffy snickers when he jerks, “Just itches for a while. Well, I guess it itches in your head too. That one I’m not sure about though.”

Law doesn’t respond, only lets his back lay against the floor again, and his breathing returns to normal. Luffy smiles at it. He feels accomplished, like he actually helped.

Still, Law grumbles in his sleep. Luffy turns over slowly, as not to jostle his arm, and curls a cautious arm around Law’s chest. He can feel how rigid Law’s body is beneath him, how taut with pain, as he recovers. His chest is also covered with wrappings; a veil to hide the many gunshot wounds that pierced him.

By all accounts, Law should’ve died today.

It hits Luffy then, in a wave of both understanding and a little bit of anger, that it’s exactly what Law expected to happen. Had he not been there, Law was prepared to die in that fight. With his nakama somewhere else, he too was ready to give his life over someone he loved. 

Backed up in the end by others support that neither of them planned on.

Law wakes up, either by his own accord or from the weight of Luffy’s gaze, and winces. His head throbs with pain and pressure, and when he feels Luffy on his shoulder, he gasps. The vivid scene behind his eyes still fading. 

A splatter painting of blood and black feathers. 

“Torao,” Luffy whispers, and Law tries to focus with hazy eyes, “It’s ok. You’re alive.”

You’re alive. The words ring in Law’s head and his eyes fall. They’re heavy with sleep, and the medicine he took hasn’t quite released its hold. Along with the warmth of Luffy, the world gets blurrier with each beat of his heart. 

Images of Luffy hurt and wrapped up float in his mind and Law sighs. It all feels familiar, like a bad dream that Law doesn’t have time to linger on. Sleep again takes him and the last sight he sees is Luffy’s sleepy smile pressed again his chest. 

The next morning, Robin finds them the same way: curled up together in the floor, Luffy’s face pressed against Law’s shoulder, with the warm light of sunrise painting their faces. For two men whose power could turn the world on its head, the sight of them like this brings a smile to Robin’s face. Waving a hand back, she ushers the others away and shuts the door. 

“They need some time.”