Part 23 Thriller Bark

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     That night you found it hard to sleep. You wanted desperately to find a route in which was the quickest but each idea faltered as they were months in the making. A hopeful idea came to mind though that you could just reunite with them and come back to this island with the crew and it'd be over in an instant. The fault with that was still getting to the archipelago. You had no way to get there

Thinking about this whole thing with Ace and Luffy brought up memories of when you felt you had lost someone not too long ago in a place called Thriller Bark.

******

    On a creepy zombie infested giant island ship was a warlord named Gecko Moria who captured people's shadows and put them in refurbished corpses. He had stolen many of the crew's and Luffy finally beat him to a pulp, given back the shadows as the sun was rising and the time was ticking.

    You had passed out and knew nothing of what was happening after Moria tossed you into a pile of bricked rubble. When you awoke, Zoro was badly, gravely, injured. Luffy was practically jumping in energy as if nothing happened.

   Later a party was started and Sanji walked outside. You knew the cook saved his life, as he found him. You wanted to thank him for his actions, even knowing he'd brush it off entirely.

    You heard Sanji and two other men talking about Zoro, how he practically sacrificed himself for Luffy. You didn't know any of this previously but, it was not a surprise. Zoro was a very trustworthy and loyal man, he was also dedicated a bit too much. At Sanji's wishes, as he talked to the two men, you kept quiet about it.

    You stood there, a few metres away, too late to turn back as you've already heard everything. Sanji noticed, and dismissed the two with a threat.

    "You heard, didn't you?" He spoke calmly, as he was a bit more serious then normal.

   "Unintentionally..." You scratched the back of your head, a little nervous and felling awkward. "Sanji could I speak with you."

   "Of course (Y/N), my love, anything." He breathed with a smile, bringing a cigarette to his lips.

  At his permission you sat down on some rubble next to him.

    "Would you hear me out on something? No interruptions either." Your head sunk low with an occasional glance at the cook through the corner of your eye.

   He agreed, albeit a bit worried at your somewhat saddened attitude.

    "I know you're going to say it was nothing but..." You took a second to breathe as tears slowly started to fall. "Thank you. For saving Zoro, and the secret. I'm sure that's how he wants it to be, he wouldn't want the captain to know." Occasionally you choked on your words but in the end got what needed to be said out.

    You could see Sanji's subtly surprised expression, and heard his almost inaudible small gasp. He seemed to know something was up.

     "Look, the swordsman is even unconscious and he somehow seems to make a lady cry."

    You giggled a bit at his rude comment about the swordsman.

    "Seriously. Thank you though."

   That was it, Sanji definitely knew something was up.

    "It's more then that, isn't it." Sanji accused with a puff of smoke.

    "Yeah. He means a lot to me. The second I saw you carrying him, in that split second of unknowing, I thought he was dead for sure."

    "I guess saving that swordsman did have it's benefits after all."

    "Sanji, I'd be okay with you knowing this."

   The man hummed for your response.

    "I really like that swordsman, Zoro. Me and him don't interact much but, I'd go as far as saying I love him." Your words made Sanji tense up.

    "Tch. I should have known he did something else. Stole your love." He sighed a bit as he always fought with the man in question. He wouldn't admit it but, he trusted the swordsman. He just wasn't fond of the way he treated women.  "I guess I'll have to watch that moss head and if he breaks your heart I'll kill him for sure."

You weren't sure exactly when you fell in love with the swordsman, all you knew is there was no denying it.

*****

A few days had passed since the news about Ace and frankly the plan about the marine base and getting back to Luffy was going nowhere. You kept training with Page and Bark, even one of the other three marines that was in on the plan named Esen.

     In another meeting, discussing plans and actions, old man Rikuto was doing what he did the other day, staying silent with a newspaper in hand. This time though, you didn't have to say anything to grab his attention.

    "You showed an interest in Firefist and Strawhat the other day." He spoke, looking at you and flipping over the newspaper. This time you grabbed the newspaper to look closely at your captain causing a ruckus. Quickly you noticed a strange mark on his arm labelling '3D2Y.' You were beyond confused. You decided it was likely a message but he never discussed anything in a coded form, didn't think he was smart in that category either.

   People in the room took note of your confused state.

   "Sorry. Strawhat Luffy is my captain, I'm bound to be worried. He left a code, I'm too dumb to figure it out." You never once mentioned that Luffy was your captain until now, shocking a few of them especially since the world government hasn't acknowledged you as one, somehow hiding from there prowling eyes.

    "3D2Y... 3. 3. 3." You mumbled going through each component of the message. "3D. 3D. 3D. Three days. We were supposed to meet in three days." You spoke to no one in particular. "If that meant three days then... 2Y likely means two years if kept with the same theme. X meaning we couldn't meet in three days, so meet in two years." It was sort of unbelievable, The captain wants to meet in two years. At least it gives you time to defeat this military base and save the town.




  

"Life is like the weather, sometimes predictable from a ways back or suddenly if not paying absolute attention. The best way to combat it is to be prepared for anything because the least expected can hurt the most."

All that has happened since I met you.      (Roronoa Zoro X Reader)Where stories live. Discover now