Family Feud(Part 19)

“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.”


Sick(A Crow Hogan One Shot)

“You’re up early.” I heard Yusei say as he came down the stairs.

“Couldn’t sleep.” I said not looking up from the screen.

“Why’s the door open?” I groaned inwardly hearing Crow ask that. Of all people to be up early this morning, he had to be one of them.

“It was too hot in here.” I said shortly, fingers moving a mile a minute as I typed away.

“Are you sure it isn’t just your room?” Crow countered looking over my shoulder at what I was doing.

“It might have been.” I bit back, “That’s why I came down here. Now buzz off, I can’t concentrate when I have someone looking over my shoulder like that.”

Crow muttered under his breath at me before turning and making himself a cup of coffee.

I rolled my eyes and turned my attention fully back to the program at hand, until a cool hand touched my blazing forehead.

“I don’t think it’s too hot, Marcy.” Yusei told me removing his hand from my face, “I think you have a fever.”

I laughed lightly, “Yusei, when do I get sick?”

“Apparently right now.” He told me and crossed his arms, “Save what you’ve done and go upstairs, you need to rest.”

“This program has to get done.” I corrected.

“Marc,” Yusei started.

“No.” I cut him off, “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me, please.”

I heard Yusei sigh as Jack came down the stairs. There was about a minute of silence before I was grabbed by two sets of hands and hauled up.

“Hey!” I yelled at Jack and Yusei as they tried to carry me away from the computer and up the stairs, me struggling the entire time, “I told you I’m fine.”

“Then stop struggling so we can see!” Jack ordered.

“Screw off!” I snarled at the blonde, only fighting them more. I felt their grips begin to slip and their hands loosen.

“Crow?” Yusei managed out.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” The red head said as he made his way over and took Yusei’s hold on my legs. Crow wasn’t afraid of being rough with me in my current state, and held on much harder. I wasn’t going to get my legs free until he wanted to let go.

Yusei then grabbed my right arm out of Jack’s grip, hanging on with both hands. Jack readjusted his grip too. Now my way out was completely gone.

“Oh, come on!” I yelled again, “This isn’t fair!”

“You aren’t feeling well so why should we let you get your way!” Jack snapped back at me.

“I’m not sick!” I yelled back.

“What have I told you about the level of noise in here!” Zora roared slamming the front door open, “What are you doing?” She then demanded seeing the three of them attempting to haul me up the stairs.

“Sorry, Zora.” Yusei told the old woman as he readjusted his grip on my arm, “Marcy isn’t feeling well, and she’s too stubborn to go back to bed on her own.”

“I’m not sick!” I yelled again, “And I’m not going back to bed it’s way too hot up there!”

“Then open your window!” Jack snarled at me, pulling the rest of us up stairs.

“I did! It didn’t help!” I told him.

“Well,you shouldn’t over exert yourself either.” Crow snapped at me.

“Since when do you care!” I snarled at him.

“Oh would you two please stop!” Yusei ordered as we made it up stairs to the living/kitchen area.

“No.” I snarled, “This is all going on against my will! Why should I cooperate?”

“Because life would be so much easier if you would just shut up.” Crow snapped.

“Take your own advise every once in a while would you!” I bit back.

We were just entering my room now and I was almost free of Jack’s grip when I got thrown on the bed. I shot up into a sitting position, ready to chew the three of them out when Zora entered the room with a bag of things.

“Open your mouth, Marcy.” She ordered as she took things out and started setting them on my nightstand.

“I’m not sick.” I told her seeing all the bottles she had with her.

“I’ll be the judge of that.” She told me turning to face me holding a thermometer in her hand, “Or do we have to do this the other way?”

I growled to myself but took the thermometer from her and stuck the thing under my tongue for a minute until she pulled it out.

Zora looked at it with accusing eyes as Yusei, Jack and Crow all stood by the side of my bed with their arms crossed.

“You have a fever.” Zora concluded.

“Hate to say it, but I told you Marcy.” Yusei said. There were no heat in his words, but I knew Jack and Crow were not impressed.

I sighed, “So now wh-”

I was cut off my Zora shoving a spoon of disgusting tasting liquid into my mouth. I wanted to spit it out, but the woman glared at me and ordered me to swallow it. I did as I was told, shuttering as it went down.

“Now you need to rest.” She told me, “Maybe in a couple of hours you can eat something gentle on the stomach too.”

“I don’t have a stomach ache.” I told her.

“Well you haven’t exactly told me any symptoms you do have, now have you?” She accused.

“I’m not sick.” I insisted, “I just feel hot and have a headache, it’s normal this time of year.”

She sighed, “Like it or not Marcy, you are sick. Your body needs rest in order to fight it off. It’s not a weakness to get sick from time to time, you know. It means your body is working right. So try not to strain yourself, alright.”

I gave a sheepish grin, “Sure.”

“Is she going to be the only one here today?” Zora asked turning to the boys.

“No.” Crow told her with a sigh, “I got the day off.”

“Great.” I groaned, “I get to spend all day with you.”

“Well, at least you got a new job.” Yusei said to Jack as they entered the garage through the front door.

“Isn’t she supposed to be in bed?” Jack questioned the red head sitting on the couch below him. He was referring to the raven haired, green eyed girl who was currently curled up napping in front of the computer. She was using her arms as a pillow and snuggled down quite nicely.

The red head in question moved his hand that was at his head, which was holding an ice pack, before turning to the two men who had just walked in revealing to them a newly acquired black eye.

“Don’t you think I know that?” He hissed at the blonde, “But she woke up about two hours ago and was muttering on about the program she had to get done, but non of it made sense. I tried to get her back to bed a couple of times, and when I got more aggressive she gave me this and yelled at me to leave her alone. She finally passed out about thirty minutes ago.”

“She must have been delirious from her fever.” Yusei said going over to the raven haired girl and placing his hand on her forehead again, “She’s still really warm.”

“Yeah, and it gets better.” Crow said sarcastically, “I got a call from work. I’m not going in tomorrow either. Please tell me one of you have the day off too so I don’t have to be with her again.”

“Sorry, Crow.” Yusei said apologetically as he carefully picked the girl up in a piggy back fashion, “I’ll take her up to her room.”

“I just started today.” Jack told the red head.

Crow sighed as he placed the ice pack back on his injured eye. He was not going to have fun tomorrow.

I felt something cold on my forehead as I came out of my slumber. I didn’t even remember falling asleep after Zora gave me the medicine and everyone else left.

I tried to sit up, still feeling dazed, only to be gently pushed back down to a laying position. The wet cloth that had been on my forehead had fallen and was repositioned where it should have been.

I followed the hands of the one who was taking care of me, looking up the arms I was expecting to see Zora, or Yusei, or even Jack. But I was very surprised to see Crow Hogan sitting at my bedside caring for me.

“Crow?” I asked in disbelief.

“Are you feeling any better?” He asked be leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms.

“I feel a hell of a lot worse than I did yesterday.” I told him kicking the covers off of me, “It’s still too hot up here.” I sighed, “What happened to your eye?”

“You don’t remember?” He asked with his eye brows raised.

I shook my head.

Crow just sighed and shook his head as he waved his hand a little in front of his face, telling me silently to forget about it.

“You hungry?” He asked after a couple of minutes.

I shrugged a little bit, “I guess.”

Crow said nothing as he got up and left the room. I pulled the cloth off my head and used it as an opportunity to use the bathroom.

When I was done I sat back down on my bed and pulled the blankets back up around me, there was a sudden chill in the room. Hardly a minute later, Crow came back in the room with a bowl in his hands. He handed it to me without a word and sat back down in the chair.

I took a bite of the oatmeal he made for me.

“Thanks.” I said to him not looking up.

“I’m just sorry it’s plain, but I know you don’t like sweets so…”

I shook my head, “It’s good.”

We sat in silence as I ate. After a few minutes I worked up the courage to ask him.

“Did I do that?” I asked gesturing to his eye.

He shrugged.

“Sorry.” I said.

“You were in a feverish craze, it’s okay.” Crow said as he took my bowl and stood up leaving the room, “Now go to sleep!”

He didn’t leave any room for me to say anything else as he closed the door and walked away. I was left there feeling horrible for what I had done. It was obvious from the way he had acted.

Yet with the weight slowing finding its way to my eyelids and muscles I also knew the only thing I could do was lay back down and try to sleep.

“You’re so stupid.” I heard as I was laying down in my bed. I was in the ambiguous state between awake and asleep. Yet I knew I was hearing this, I chose to just lay there and pretend to be sleeping. The owner of the voice, I already knew, wasn’t exactly happy with me.

“Calling me in here in the middle of the night, knowing I actually have to work tomorrow, and all the while you’re sound asleep, jeez.” He said with a sigh. There was a moment of silence before I heard movement, I had at first assumed he was going to the door to leave, but I was proven wrong when I felt my bed creak under a new weight.

Crow had layed down beside me, my back was close to his chest, not quite touching but almost due to the close proximity my bed allowed for. I felt myself quiver at what Crow was doing.

I heard him sigh from behind me before I felt an arm fall over my side.

“First you’re too hot, now you’re too cold. I get you’re sick but can you please pick and extreme and stick with it.”

I could only lay there and not say anything, we were friends, and while this wasn’t odd for any of us to do it felt weird this time.

I heard Crow sigh again and I was pulled closer to him.

“As much grief as I give you, Marc, I really hope you’ll get better soon. I miss seeing you happy everyday.” My eyes shot open, was he really saying what I think he was saying.

“Don’t think I’ll ever have the guts to tell you when you’re awake, but, I love you Marcy. Not like a brother, like when we were kids, but you know.”

Crow nuzzled his face in the back of my neck, he was completely relaxed at the moment.

Yet all the while I could only think how stupid he was. What could he see in me? He knew how damaged I was, and while he took it in stride it still changed how he looked at me. He knew how sarcastic, and introverted, and cold, reserved, and, at times, moody I could be. Yet he still chose to fall for me.

I turned over to face him, yet instead of looking at him I turned over and buried my face in his neck so he couldn’t see my face.

“You’re an idiot, Crow.” I told him, wrapping my arms around his waist as he stiffened, “But you’re my idiot, you know that?”

Crow said nothing as he wrapped his arms around me, cradling my head against his neck.

“Shut up and sleep.” He muttered.

Family Feud(One Piece Part 13)

We entered the house, took off our shoes, and Daddan took our coats. We headed straight for the meeting room, where everyone was waiting for us.

“How did it go?” Lucky asked after I took my seat.

“Better than I had thought.” I told them, “What’s the shedual for the week?” Today was Sunday, and every Sunday there was a lot that had to be done, one of the main things was find out what I was going to be doing all week.

“Tomorrow there’s the Mushi meeting with the Saboy mayor at nine, Doflamingo agreed to talk to you about the mines and grenades at ten, and then you have lunch at eleven with Woopslap of the Windmill town. From one- three you’ll be at a rally for the specialty unit, also getting that new person in as a bug. Then your uncle wished for dinner with you at six.” Hawkins said.

I whistled, “Please tell me this is all written down.”

“In your planner.” He told me, “Tuesday you have the monthly Boss meeting at the temple. Wendsay is the Trades, business, and partners meeting, that will go all day.”

“If all goes well, we’ll have the paperwork for the road ready by Thursday.” Lucky told me, “And then Friday, Sir Foxey had requested a meeting with you.”

“That it for Friday?” I asked.

“All that has come up so far.” Hawkins told me.

I nodded, “Law, I got a job for you.”

He looked at me.

“Make arrangements for Monkey D. Luffy, Portgas D. Ace, and Sabo to move in to the house.” I told him.

“Ceerie, you can’t do that.” Benn told me, “They’ll be in danger if you bring them in.”

“How?” I asked him like a small child, “They aren’t going to be involved with any of this any more than they’ve involved themselves as it is. I need them here, Benn.”

“Why do you need them here?” He snapped.

“To keep me feeling things.” I told him, he instantly backed away, “I can’t stay in this giant place all alone anymore, I’ll go crazy. And they’ll make these empty halls, not so empty anymore.”

“I’ll make the arrangements.” Law told me, “I just hope you know what you’re doing.”

“Have I given you any reason to doubt me yet?” I counted.

The next day I walking through the foray to get to the meeting room. It was eight thirty and I had about a half hour before the mushi conference.

I paused and looked at the door, hardly a moment later it burst open and Ace, Sabo, and Luffy threw themselves at me head first.

Normally I would have evaded it easily. But I allowed them to tackle me to the ground in a giant dog pile/bear hug manner.

“How ya’ been?” Luffy grinned.

I smiled at him as Sabo helped me up and Ace slapped my shoulder congratulating me on becoming Boss, and doing a great job so far.

“Why did you want us to come live with you?” Sabo asked cutting through the laughter, hugs, and smiles.

I looked at the three of them, them around at the house.

“147.” I said.

“147?” Luffy asked.

“147 rooms.” I told them, “Not including bathrooms, walk in closets, and the kitchen.”

They stared at me and I smiled gently.

“I’d always run around and count the rooms when I was little, my father was out, and I wasn’t allowed out to play.” I told them, “147 rooms. The place seemed so much smaller when he was alive. And now that he’s gone all this space seems suffocating.”

“So you want us here for company?” Ace said.

I nodded, “I also realized that I had been neglecting you guys the past couple years. And I figured we’re still family, we can at least live as so.”

They nodded and I got four hugs. One from each of them and a group hug.

I held them close each time, and the only thing that interrupted us was Yassopp coming out of the meeting room.

“Ceerie.” He said, we turned and saw him standing there.

“It’s eight fifty.”

I nodded, “Makino!” I called.

She came in a moment.

“Hai, Ceerie-sama?” She asked.

“Would you please show them to their rooms and make them feel at home?” I asked her, she nodded, I turned back to them, “I have appointments for the rest of today. Tomorrow and the next day I’ll have meetings, but I can have breakfast with you guys. I’ll try to find you when I have breaks in between.”

“No sweat.” Ace told me.

“Take care in your appointments.” Sabo told me.

“Here if you need me.” Luffy grinned.

I nodded, “Arigoto.” I said and bowed.

They waved as I went to the meeting room and closed the door behind me.

“I hope you know what you’re doing.” Benn warned as I took my seat.

I smiled at him, “I am. Don’t worry.”

“That’s when.”

But Benn was cut short by the Mushi going off.

“Moshi Moshi.” I said as I answered.

“Ceerie-sama?” The voice on the other end questioned.

“Speaking.” I said and placed the receiver in the holder.

“You wished to speak with me about a trade?” He asked.

“I did.” I told him.

“I’m listening.” He told me.

“Spring’s coming.” I told him, “Our fish market’s are about to flourish.”

“You want to know if we’re interested in your fish?” he asked slightly angry.

“Yes, actually.” I told him, “We had just realized what little trade we had together. I wanted to be the first to make the effort bridge with you.”

“What kind of joke is this?!” He yelled, “You’re offering me a fish trade when I know for a fact that you offer wine, oil, and silk!”

“You’ll have to forgive me.” I told him, “I’m aware of the large amounts of wine, oil, and cloth you get from Water 7, NewKomer, and Drum island. But I found almost no fish in your trades.”

“Y-you did all that research on us?” He asked taken back.

“Yes.” I told him raising an eye brow, “You must do your homework before making an offer in trade.”

“You were the fist to do that.” He told me.

“That’s surprising.” I said, “I would assume with all the tourist you get from the park and current auctions that everyone would like to trade with you and thus be forced to know what you need and don’t.”

“You would think.” He told me, “But not really.”

“How about this.” I offered, “I offer you fish, oils of your choice, and fine silk, and you trade it with that parchment that you’re famous for?”

“It would be hard to trade all that with just parchment.” he told me.

“Parchment and credit then?” I asked him, “I’m not going to take advantage of you or your current position either, but I need good parchment and yours is the best.”

“How do you know that?” He asked me.

I smiled, “As a little girl I was fascinated with origami. I used all kinds of paper for it, but I loved parchment the most. And out of all the parchment, I liked the kind from Saboy the most.”

“Just parchment?” He asked me.

“Yes.” I told him, “I said I need god parchment.”

“I can do that.” He said.

For the next ten or so minutes we negotiated on how much parchment for what oil, wine, and fish, what fish he wanted and how much of everything in what kind.

“Fair trade.” I told him, “I’ll give you the choice, would you like it all monthly?”

“That would be best.” He told me, “And I’ll send the parchment over on rush.”

“Arigoto.” I told him, “Yours will be in, in a day or two.”

“It was a pleasure doing business with you, Ceerie-sama.” He told me.

“As you.” I said.

“If you don’t mind me saying, I’m glad it was you who took over after your late father.” He said.

“Arigoto.” I said and hung up.

“What are you planning to do with the parchment?” Law hissed.

I looked at him cooly.

“Alabasta.” I told him, “They use silk as paper to write on. We trade parchment for silk, they can make more and we gain a little more profit.”

They stared at me.

“You really planned all that out?” Killer asked finally.

I nodded, “I realized that with selling the silk, importing it, and sending the money back over, we’re actually losing 12 belli for every yard we sell. We make the trade with alabasta, as they were going to use the money made for soil and paper, we cut their yearly cost by twenty percent, and gain another fifteen for giving them the paper.”

“Completely thought out.” Benn said breaking the silence.

I smirked at him and glanced at my watch, it was almost ten.

“Hey, Hawkins.” I said.

“Hai.” He responded.

“Are you sure your cards were right?” I asked him.

“In what why?” He asked me.

“You said I would find love in that giant mess. Are you sure it was right?” I asked again.

“They haven’t been wrong yet.” He told me, “I could try again if you’d like.”

I nodded, “Please. Second I find love, I can get married and these stupid proposals will stop coming.”

The mushi began to ring again, I sighed before picking up the receiver.

“Moshi moshi.” I said.

“Moshi moshi Ceerie-sama.” Doflamingo said from the other side, “Have you considered my proposal?”

“I’m still considering.” I told him, “Right now I would like to know about the lateness of land mines and grenades that you promised me.”

“There was a back up on the order I placed for certain parts.” He told me, “They managed to put a rush on bullets, guns, and flares. But gun powder is still so low right now.”

I paused a moment watching the smile on the mushi grow bigger.

“Who else have you been selling to?” I asked him.

The mushi’s smile quickly turned into a frown.

“It’s strictly business.” He told me, “Not pleasure.” The mushi’s smile grew again.

“Doflamingo-san.” I started, “I understand business. But what I don’t understand is a smart business man like yourself violating our contract.”

The mushi’s smile turned to a frown once more, “The contract was with Shanks Le Roux.” He told me, “Not you.”

“Not according to the copy I have in front of me.” I told him, “So long as there is a living head our contact is air tight.”

“He died.” He told me, “You know that you were there.”

“True.” I said opening a folder containing various papers, “But he made me head before he died. Even Black beard and Big Mama will tell you that, the old straw hat was on my head when he died. I was the head of the Red family before he died, you’re the one over stepping this contract.”

“So young and yet so smart.” He told me, “This s why I want you to be my bride.”

“I’m still considering.” I told him, “But for right now I have things I need to straighten up first.”

“Alright.” He told me, “I send the next two loads to the regular rondevu point tomorrow. But I want an answer soon.”

“Arigoto.” I told him, “And thank you for being honest.”

He didn’t say anything as he hung up. I merely smirked and put the receiver back on the Mushi. I looked through a few of the paper’s before me.

“And I didn’t even have to go into the dirt.” I said to myself, “Too bad.”

I heard the last of the of the cards be placed down as I closed the folder.

“What do they say?” I asked passing the folder back to Benn wh put it back into the filing cabinet.

“True love is to come.” He told me, “But I can’t tell you from which direction.”

“Just please tell me it’s not Urouge or Doflamingo.” I begged, “That’s all I want.”

“That much I can tell you.” He told me and started flipping more cards, “All they say is that love is closer than expected, so I doubt that it would be anyone who’s sent a proposal.”

“Don’t forget the conference Wednesday.” Law said, “It could mean that they’re coming closer.”

I scoffed and threw a paper in front of him. He picked it up and looked on the front page, there was a large picture of Doflamingo on it.

“I will never find anything like that attractive.” I told him, “All his whores might not have taste or standards, but I do.”

They all chuckled at that. I glanced at my watch and sighed.

“Lunch time.” I said and rose.

“You don’t have any concernes?” I asked the mayor as we sat down for dinner.

He shook his head, “This is more a thank you than anything.” He said, “Thanks to you buying that old oil factory our poverty has gone down, economy has gone up, our populate has grown a little more, and our trade is wonderful. And with the wine factory it’s even better.”

I smiled, “I wish I could say that was my goal all along, but it wasn’t.”

He smiled at me, “Be it or not, I still have to thank you properly, if not for you I don’t want to think about what might have happened here.”

“Thank you.” I said.


Cheers were heard from the men before me as I had just finished my speech. I took a deep breath and walked down off the stage to where Killer and Lucky stood with another person.

“Ceerie-san, this is Heat.” Killer introduced us.

“I thought he was a permanent part of the Sweet family?” I asked.

“He was-er-is.” Lucky said, “Your late father had us place inside spies when you were born in every family, just in case.”

“Heat here happens to be one of the spies since he was a child.” Killer added.

I looked him up and down. Tall, light blue hair, muscular, tattoos that look like stitches all over his body, which was well built.

“You were part of Kidd’s group.” I called him out on it.

“I was sent to the sweet family as a spy when I was small.” He told me, “Over the course of the years, we had become friends. Apparently I wasn’t annoying, and there weren’t too many our age over there.”

I nodded, “Have you been briefed?” I asked.

He nodded.

“Do whatever necessary to find and kill him.” I told him.

“Yes, ma’am.” He said.

I nodded and turned around heading back to the mansion.

“Ceerie-san!” I paused and waited for Killer to catch up with me.

“Nani?” I asked him pressing on.

“You aren’t going to offer him anything more, like a good luck?”

“What may I offer him?” I asked, “I hadn’t known about the spies until now. The only reason why I knew he existed was because he hung around Kidd, who hated me.”

“I hung around Kidd too ya’ know.” He muttered.

I stopped in my tracks and looked at him. I couldn’t see his face, but I knew for a fact he was sweating.

“Then maybe you could elaborate as to why he hated me so much.” I told him, “I know for a fact it’s more than just families.”

“That’s the one thing about Kidd I’ll never know.” He told me, “You’re just his type, which I don’t get.”

“Maybe that’s it.” I muttered to myself stalking towards home again, “He actually likes me, and won’t admit it because I’m in an enemy family.”

“I doubt that’s it.” He assured.

I stopped again and looked over at him.

“May I ask you a serious question?”

He nodded.

“Out of all the guys in Kidd’s gang you were the only one who I never even heard say a snide remark to me. What gives?”

He didn’t answer.

“It has to be more than just families.” I told him.

“It is.” he said, “But I’d prefer not o talk about it.”

I stared at him a moment.

“You had a crush on me, didn’t you?”

He tensed, but didn’t say anything. In fact, he actually turned his head away.

I giggled lightly, making him look back at me.

“You did.” I said smiling at him, “And you still do.”

“D-don’t be rediculuse.” He muttered.

“Okay.” I said and leaned up on my tipy-toes, so I was more to his height, “But I got a little secret for you.”

He stared down at me, I could feel the intense gaze even through his mask.

“I like you too.” I whispered and pecked his covered cheek, before going back to standing regularly and continuing on back to the house, leaving a dazed and most likely blushing Killer behind me.

I fought off the urge to skip, and merely made my way up to my room to change for dinner with uncle Mihawk.

My Onii-chen and I were sitting on the porch overlooking the court yard.

I had already changed into a black skirt, vest, and tie along with a red button down, from my black slacks, coat, and white button down.

“You’ve turned from tomboy, to girly, back to tomboy.” Luffy stated after seeing me again.

I shrugged, “I think now I’m a little more of both.” I told him.

“How?” Ace asked.

“I want to be the kind of Boss my father raised me to be, but I also have my girly aspects.” I explained.

“Ceerie-san.” We turned and saw Benn in the door way leading back inside, “It’s time to go.”

I nodded and stood up bidding my brothers a good-bye.

“Uncle.” I said as I came up to him as he waited at a table at Bartie’s.

“Ceerie.” He said and rose.

We embraced best we could. It had long ago stopped trying to tell everyone that they were just really tall. I had gotten my mother’s height, I wasn’t much taller than 5’6. . . . maybe.

“It’s good to see you.” I told him.

“As you.” He said.

We sat down and were handed menus.

“I wanted to talk to you earlier, but you pushed everyone away at the funeral.” He told me.

“I’m sorry.” I said, “I just wanted to be alone for a little while.”

“You’re entitled to that.” he told me, “And with your shedual I don’t blame you. But you need to make room in your life for your family.”

I nodded, and turned my attention back to the menu before me.

“It still bother’s me.” Uncle Mihawk told me after making a very long point.

“I know it does.” I told him, “It bothers me too. But it just might be put to an end soon.”

“How?” He asked his hawkeyes digging into me.

I smiled up at him as I said, “Hawkins said that I would soon find love. And I think I might have.”

“And from who?” He asked.

I smiled and looked away, “You’ll have to wait and find out.”

“Ceerie.” He said sternly.

I smiled at him again, “He’s good guy.” I assured, “He’s not like all the other’s who’ve sent proposals. In fact he hasn’t done anything but stand by my side.”

“Just the man you need.” He said as we continued to walk.

“I don’t need a man.” I told him, “I just need these proposals to stop.”

He chuckled as we came to the door.

“Thank you for tonight, uncle.” I said sincerely.

“I should be thanking you.” He said, “There is a reason why your father saved you, and I know it’s for a greater cause than we’d have ever thought.”

I smiled and hugged him again.

“Good night.” I told him.

“Good night.” He said and walked away.

I opened the door and went inside. I sighed knowing tomorrow I was going to have my first solo meeting with all of the Head’s. This might not be as pleasant as fighting, but I was pretty sure I would like it a lot more than Daddan tying my obie ‘properly’.