“What are you doing?” Benn asked me.
“Reading.” I told him, not looking up from my book.
“Clearly.” He stated, unamused, “What are you doing up there?”
“Looking for something.” I said taking the book in my hand and putting it on the step behind me before I opened the book underneath it.
Benn sighed, “What are you looking for, at 7 am., in the Archives, that is so important?”
“That book on Dressrosa’s history.” I said slowly standing up on the step-ladder and turning around to pick up all the books and put them away. Non of them were what I was looking for.
“Why are you looking for that old thing?” Benn asked alarmed.
“Call it a hunch.” I replied, “But there’s always been something off about Doflamingo to me. Maybe his city’s history will explain it.”
“And you choose now to look for it?” Benn growled.
I nodded, “I’m supposed to be taking it easy, remember.”
“Yeah, and there’s been a head meeting called in the center of town tomorrow because of Kaido and Urouge’s sudden deaths.
“Good.” I said pushing the ladder over more to see the new section, “I want them to know I’m alive.”
“Ceerie, we have to think about this-”
“I have been, Benn.” I barked at him, turning around on the ladder to look at him, “And I know this is not at all how Daddy would play this. But he’s also the kind who isn’t going to go around stepping on people’s toes if he doesn’t have to. And I’m not going to just sit around and let the same scum who killed him run the world! Now either shut up and help me find that book or get out.”
I turned back to the shelves in front of me and continued to look.
“3rd shelf down, 6th book to your right.” Benn said calmly behind me.
I took myself down one step on the ladder carefully and ran my right pointer finger along the self until I came to it.
“Thanks.” I said taking it off the shelves.
“Ceerie.” Benn said softly approaching the ladder as I turned and sat down again, “Maybe its time you stop thinking about your father would do.”
I looked at him unsure about what he was meaning. The confusion was clearly written on my face given that he reworded what he had previously said.
“Do what you think is best, without wondering if what you are doing is good enough to live up to your father or not.” He told me with a rare, gentle smile, “He’s proud of you. And we will follow you, not because of our blind loyalty to him, but because we know you’ll do the right thing no matter what.”
I said nothing as I stared down at the cover of the history book in my lap. It hit home, and it hit hard.
Benn said nothing else, he reached out and gave my shoulder a reassuring squeeze before turning and leaving me alone in the Archives.
I fixed my bangs over the bandage above my right eye, I didn’t want the others to know I bled.
“Ceerie.” Law called to me holding my hat, “We’re gonna be late.”
I blew a quick raspberry at my reflection before turning and taking my hat from Law and walking towards the door as he handed me my coat.
Benn, Lucky, Killer and several other large men from the muscle section were there also.
“Isn’t this a little over kill?” I asked, seeing the 8 men who were going to escort me.
“After what just happened?” Lucky scoffed, “You’ll be lucky to leave this house without 2 armed guards.
I huffed, but said nothing as we left.
Law opened the door to the lobby where all the underlings sat waiting for the meeting to adjourn. All eyes were on us as we strolled through the lobby to the big doors leading to the meeting room.
Those doors were opened too, Benn and I stepped forward into the room as the doors closed behind us. Benn took my jacket and I adjusted my hat before sitting down.
“I hope we aren’t late.” I said politely to Dragon as I took my seat and Benn stood behind my chair.
“We were just getting started.” Dragon stated.
Blackbeard and Big Mam, along with Bonney were all staring at me in shock.
“You all seem surprised to see me.” I said looking around the table, even Dragon looked unnerved.
“I was under the impression there were currently 2 Bosses that had untimely perished.” Dragon told me.
“Well I don’t know who your sources are but I can assure you I am very much alive.” I told him, “But it was tragic what happened to the West family.”
I saw Blackbeard visibly swallow at my lack of emotion, Bonney was sweating, and Big Mam, well, she was grinding her teeth.
And so, for the next 40 minutes we sat there, listening to Dragon rant about the West family and have him divide up the territory, that once belonged to Kaido, amoung the three of us as the second in command was nowhere to be seen to claim it for themselves. After all that had occurred, we were allowed to leave.
We all exited at the same time. As Benn gave me my jacket I didn’t fail to notice Kidd and Killer come back into the lobby from the attached bathroom at the same time.
The circle was quickly formed around me as we prepared to leave.
“Killer.” Lucky barked at the blonde calling him over.
He said nothing as he rushed over and assumed position. We left, as I made a mental note to ask him about it later. We were just starting down the stairs when I felt dizzy and lost my footing.
Killer caught me instantly.
“Are you alright?” He asked as he set me carefully back onto my feet but didn’t let go of me.
“Yeah,” I said, shaking my head in an attempt to straighten things out, “Just got a little light headed was all.”
“Let’s get you home then.” Law said snaking an arm around my waist and bringing me close to his side as he helped me walk down the rest of the stairs.
“Excuse me?” I asked with my mouth full, gawking at Killer and what he had just said.
“I know you have every right to say no,” He started as I continued to chew again, “But he said it was really important. Even 5 minutes, Ceerie. Not for him, but me. Please.”
I swallowed before replying, “You know what he wants to talk to me about, but you aren’t saying. Why is that?”
“You would not believe me without evidence.”
“And how do you know what he told you was true?”
“I don’t 100%.” Killer admitted, “But he’s my friend, despite the opposing sides. He’ll have evidence, he’ll tell you and he’ll explain it all. Ceerie, I know Kidd. And he would not come to me, asking for my help about this, especially to talk to you, unless he were dead serious. 5 minutes of your day, that’s all I’m asking.”
I stared at him for a good few minutes, “This is for you, not him. He has to be here by 8:30, or I will send him away with a bullet in his brain.”
“Understood.” Killer replied, I could feel the smile on his face under his mask, “Thank you!”
I stood in front of the window in the office looking out.
“She’s in here.” I heard Killer say as he opened the door.
My peripherals showed that it was Kidd and Killer.The red head entered the room before the blonde, who went to close the door.
“You may wait outside, Killer.” I spoke still facing the window.
“Ceerie?” He asked, unsure if he had heard me correctly or not.
“Eustass wished to speak to me.” I told him, “And to me he will speak.”
Killer paused for a moment before opening the door again.
“Yes, Ma’am.” He said before leaving and closing the door.
I finally turned and looked into the piercing, yellow eyes of Eustass Kidd.
“Sit.” I said motioning to the chair closest to him on the other side of the table.
Kidd awkwardly did as I ordered and sat down. I sat across from him at the round table and crossed my legs.
“What may I do for you?” I all but snarled.
Kidd said nothing as he reached into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out an envelope and tossed it across the table at me.
I open the envelope and read the letter it contained.
I understand it has been a long time. Especially since you just became a very powerful man, I would be surprised if you even remembered me. I’m not writing to you about our past sex life, it’s a little more serious than that and I hope you’ll understand. I left you all those years ago because I was afraid. To tell you the truth, I was pregnant. A couple of years ago I had a son. Believe me when I tell you, he’s yours. You were the only man I was with. I’m not asking you for compensation because of it, what I am asking is you be in his life. I’m unfortunately ill, I don’t think I’ll make it much further in this life. I know this and I understand this, please don’t feel it’s your fault I’m going through this. This was going to happen to me eventually. Just be there for him, don’t cast him aside. I know you have your own life now, but this is my final request.
With love, Nessa
I looked over the page at the red head in front of me. He found something incredibly interesting about the table in front of him.
I then placed the letter on the table and picked up the second piece of paper that was in the envelope. It was a DNA test, confirming that Kidd was indeed my father’s son.
I guess she died before she could send this. But why-
“Why didn’t you come to my father with this before?” I asked, unable to understand.
“I would have.” He said not looking up from the table, “But he was already so happy with you.”
I instantaneously felt horrible at that. I had the ability to enjoy my father and his company, but Kidd had suffered with this secret for this long.
“So what do you wanna do?” I asked.
Kidd’s head shot up and he stared at me like I was crazy.
“You’re my brother.” I told him.
“Half.” He snarled.
“We’re still related.” I snapped, “So what do we wanna do?”
“Why do you even care, Ceerie?” Kidd snarled at me, “Relations don’t mean shit!”
“But you held on to this.” I said motioning to the paper on the table, “Half or not, your my brother. This position should be yours, technically. Dad would have accepted and loved you just the same as he did me. What really made you not?”
Kidd said nothing as he looked away.
“Kidd.” I snapped.
“I got in trouble along the way of trying to find him, okay!” Kidd finally caved, “My options were either join the sweet family as the second in command or. . .”
He trailed off, but I got the idea.
I sighed as I leaned back in my chair and crossed my arms.
“Two options.” I told the red head across from me, he looked up at me in question, “You can go back to the Sweet Family. Or, you can join me.”
All Kidd did was stare at me like I was crazy.
“I’ve essentially started a war with the other three families in this city, Kidd.” I told him, “It’s either going to end in my death, or my rule. If you stand opposed to me, you could be collateral damage. Like it or not, Kidd, you’re family. And while I don’t want to kill you, if I have no other choice I will.”
Kidd still said nothing as he stared at me. I allowed this to occur until he found his voice again.
“After everything I’ve done and said to you?”
I shrugged. Ace, Luffy and Sabo had all fought with me, cursed me out, injured me before. Looking at it like that, Kidd had acted as another brother to me for as long as I’ve known him.
“How can I repay you?” Kidd asked staring at the ground.
“Tell me everything you know about the Sweet Family, their connections, and what you’ve been allowed to know about Black Family.” I told him.
“Is that is?” he questioned straightening up, thinking there was going to be some kind of trick.
“And allow Law to take a blood sample to compare to mine.” I told him, his face dropped a little.
“You don’t trust me.” He said.
“It’s not that.” I told him, “These things are easy to fake. I want to be thorough.”
Kidd just nodded, “Okay.”