"Hey! You can't take those"!
The shouts of the pirate crew echoed after me as I sprinted down the hallway, zigzagging in order to match the violent rhythm of the waves. The sound of pounding feet came after me, accompanied by the enraged yelling of the bumbling men following me. I stuffed the wanted posters I'd swiped from the Captain's quarters into my pocket and yanked out a thin butterfly knife from within my sactual. The metal plate on my bracelet was warm against my skin as I took the steps to the deck, two at a time. The ocean heaved and snarled like a wild beast, clawing at my legs as I slipped towards the railings, barely snagging them and flipping off the edge. Cries of disbelief followed as I landed on top of the small lifeboat, scrambling for a grasp. Lightning flashed and rain spat down on me as I threw my bag into the enclosed boat and jumped in after it. Sighing with relief, I slashed the rope tying me to the bigger pirate ship and smirked as curses upon my soul screamed by the crew were lost to the wailing wind. Letting out another sigh of relief, I pulled the thin rope hanging from the ceiling of the little pod and heard the sails unfurl above me. With one last sarcastic wave to the ship, I set off into the waves, the warm glow of my bracelet guiding me towards my destination. Due course: North!
Wanted Dead or Alive
Portgas D. Ace
I sighed and showed the poster to the store holder again.
"For the last time; have you seen this guy"?
The wizened old lady re-adjusted her spectacles and peered at it again, her straggly grey hair lying limp on her shoulders.
"Sorry dear, I ain't seen no pirate with a bounty that big in forever!" she rasped.
I grit my teeth. Then why did you waste so much of my time you old geezer! I inwardly shouted. Pulling my hood lower over my head, I bowed and stalked away. I'd gone through so much to get this particular poster and all it had gotten me so far was a headache. I kneaded my palm into my forehead and rounded another corner, the thin streets filled with market-goers, bustling about me on their daily, mundane schedules, unaware to the danger they were in simply by being in proximity to me.
"Where are you Ace?" I whispered to myself, running my thumb over the top of the poster. My eyes fell back down to the leather bracelet encircling my wrist, a thin metal plaque with the word "Love" inscribed upon it.
"How am I going to find you Ace?" I asked bitterly, scrubbing away a traitor tear carving a path down my cheek. "Hey Lilith, don't worry, I'll find you wherever you are” . Ace stood in front of me, one hand cupped under my chin, the other supporting his bag on his shoulder. A few stray shags of jet black hair fell in his face, obscuring his left eye.
"Well, what if I want to decide when we meet again" I said, jerking away from him, wiping away the now freely flowing tears.
He laughed softly and murmured "I thought you might say that". I watched curiously as he reached into his pocket and took out a small wooden box. Keeping his eyes on me, he flipped it open and reached for my wrist, wrapping something around it. All of a sudden something burned my wrist and I gasped from surprise. Eyes darting down I saw a leather bracelet wrapped around it, a golden strip of metal with the word "Love" emblazoned on it. "It...burned me" I said softly and Ace laughed again. "That means it’s working! It only burns around the person you love" he said leaning close to me. "You're very self-assured, you know that" I said with a small smile on my face. He lent in and pressed his lips to mine. I leant my forehead against his before pushing him back. He rolled his eyes, but ran his fingers down the side of my face. "Follow the warmth and you'll find me" he whispered, kissing me again before walking backwards, away from me. "And if I don't hear from you within two years; I'm coming to find you myself" he called back to me before climbing up a rope and hauling himself up onto his ship. "Last chance" he said as I ran down to the ship after him "Come with me"? Shaking my head, I smiled up at him before saying "I have to establish myself as a pirate first. I can't spend forever known as 'Ace's Girl'"! He grinned one last time before the ship began to drift out to sea. I watched until it disappeared on the horizon, the sun lying low on the sea. "Goodbye Ace" I whispered, one hand clasping my wrist and the still warm bracelet
."Dammit!" I yelled, kicking the wall in front of me. The deserted alleyway shrouded me in shadow so I yanked down my hood and sank to the ground, one hand running through my hair. I was a wanted pirate in the middle of a big town with no ship, no crew and no destination. The sky overhead was a pale orange colour, pink veins threading between the mauve clouds. I'd wasted a whole day.
Sighing, I stood up and crouched before springing upwards and hooking my hands onto the side of the roof of the house in front of me. With an almighty heave, I managed to pull myself up and onto the salmon coloured shingles and crawled forwards until I was sitting on top, watching the sun disappear over the horizon. The moon hung suspended like some silvery phantom eye, glistening against the velvety black canvas that was the night sky. I smiled. I may have no destination, but somewhere out there, I was sure Ace was watching the same sunset. I would find him!
Suddenly, the ground shuddered beneath me and I slid back towards the edge, bits of clay roofing clattering to the floor with me. I managed to land on my feet when I hit the ground but jarring pain shot up into my knees as I did so.
"What the hell?!" I shouted, looking around for the cause of the tremors. I pulled up my hood again as a group of marines flashed past, mumbling nonsense about 'Devil Fruit powers' and shouting orders to their comrades. I hid behind some crates until they'd all passed before looking out again. At the far end of the street a figure was approaching, fast. I walked out and squinted at it, making out that the figure was clad in red and wearing some kind of hat.
I was just turning to run when they called to me.
"Hey! You! Help me"! I spun back around to tell them no way, when something smashed into me, hard. I yelled as I toppled backwards, the figure falling with me. We hit the ground and rolled back into the alleyway, knocking over the stack of crates almost hiding it from view. Shoving the person off of me, I stood up and glared down at them. The person, as it turns out was a boy around my age with jet black, shaggy hair and wearing blue shorts, a red vest and sporting a ridiculously wide grin.
"Who are you?" I demanded, backing away from him, checking around for any marines that could've seen us.
He laughed and replied "I'm Monkey D. Luffy! And I'm hungry! Got any food"? He got up and began poking around in the crates, coming up with only dust and straw.
"Okay then, Monkey D. Luffy, who were you running from?" I asked, still on the alert for pursuers.
He shrugged "Some marines I guess. Hey. who are you"?
"I'm Hisakata L. Lilith"
"That's a weird name"!
"Oh yeah and Monkey D. Luffy isn't"?
We stood staring at one another for a minute before he shrugged and went back to looking for food.
I rolled my eyes and turned to walk away when I heard the sound of a large group of people moving towards us, their whispers audible to my sensitive ears.
"Alright men, we have to be careful with this one, a hundred million beri bounty is not something to take lightly! And I hear he has Devil Fruit powers, so our best chance to take him down would be to sneak up on him. I saw him go up into the alley ahead, so if we're careful we can trap him there" I heard the gruff voice of a man murmur, the mumbled agreements of his comrades following him.
"Luffy" I whispered, turning around to find him trying to cram handfuls of uncooked rice into his mouth, the grains an off grey colour from being left in the crates for so long.
"Mhmm?" he replied, still pawing through the rice.
"We've gotta get out of here! The marines are almost upon us now if we're really quiet we can-
"OKAY!" he yelled, jumping up, winding one arm around me and the other around the corner of the alley before backing up. I barely registered the fact that his arm had just stretched from one end of the alley to the other before he ran forwards at lightning speed, catapulting us into the air. I yelled as we flew over the town, the people reduced to ants beneath us. As fast as we rose, we began to plummet back to Earth, the ground zooming up to meet us. Luffy let out a single laugh before we hit the ground, rolling through the crowds of the busy town centre.
We came to a stop and Luffy bounced back onto his feet, giggling like he'd just had the most fun in his life.
"You could've warned me!" I yelled at him, slapping him across the face "Moron"!
People heads turned to look at us and a hush settled over the square. At first I thought they were objecting to my insulting the boy before me until I heard a woman mutter to her companion "Isn't that Gold-eye Lily? The pirate with a two hundred and fifty million beri bounty on her head"?
I froze and reached up to pat my head. My fingers stroked soft, black hair. My hood had fallen down.
"Run!" I yelled to Luffy before I took off at a sprint, shoving the crowd aside. Some people tried to grab me as I ran while others stood frozen; shell-shocked at my presence. Luffy surprisingly kept pace with me as we wound our way to the docks, the sound of marines and townspeople alike hot on our heels.
"Who are you?" Luffy yelled at me as we rounded a corner, the smell of the ocean wafting towards us.
"I told you, I'm Hisakata L. Lilith, better known as Gold-eye Lily!" I shouted back, the water in my sights now.
My bag slapped the back of my legs raw as we ran down the docks, boats of all shapes and sizes flashing by. My boat had been utterly destroyed on my last voyage to steal the wanted posters, so I could only hope Luffy would offer me a ride on whatever ship had bought him here. It was the least he could do after causing me so much trouble.
"Hey Lily, why did everyone know who you were back there?" Luffy asked, hardly seeming out of breath, despite our speed.
"Well, uh, I kinda have a bit of a history with the marines. I, ah, got rid of one of their captains a while back" I panted, not adding Oh, and I also destroyed his fleet while I was at it!
"Yeah, but why is your bounty so big?" he asked, obviously having heard the woman as well.
"Ah, about that...I sort of made a living a while back of taking out rogue pirates. One time I took down three pretty big-name pirates and a Marine Captain working with them" I said, my lungs burning.
"Cool! Wanna join my crew?" he asked eagerly.
I hesitated and reasoned that it may be my only chance of getting off this island without having to fight at least a hundred marines and a good deal more townspeople.
"Sure, whatever! Just get me out of here!" I growled back.
"Great!" he said, skidding to a halt in front of a large ship in front of us with what looked like a bear's head surrounded by sun rays as a figurehead. I had to retreat a few paces to come in line with him before he stretched his arm up and hooked it over the side of the ship.
So he does have Devil Fruit Powers I thought as he prepared to slingshot us into the ship.
"No way, I'm not going through that again!" I grinned, before running at the ship and leaping up. My hands caught the edge of a loose plank of wood and I somersaulted on board.
"Awesome!" I heard Luffy yell ecstatically from below before he shot himself into the air and came crashing down. I stepped aside neatly and let him plough head-first into the deck.
He was just getting up when a sword flashed out towards me and came to rest at my throat.
"Who the hell are you?" said a low voice from behind me.
"I'm the person who's going to kick your ass to hell and back if you don't get that sword out of my face right now" I said sweetly back.
I was answered with a laugh "I'd like to see you try"!
I grinned wickedly before ducking to the ground and spinning on my hands, kicking out the feet of my attacker. I jumped back up and found him already trying to right himself so stomped quickly on his hand and snagged the sword from his grasp. Smiling down at him I tossed the sword into the air and caught it again as it spun back down before pressing the tip to his throat.
"Never under-estimate your opponent" I smirked.
"Hey Zoro! What're you doing to my new crew member?" Luffy grinned, leaping towards us.
The man on the ground before me glared at the sword still directed at him and replied "I think it's more of a question of what she just did to me"...
He looked up at me and his scowl turned into a grudging smile. He had short moss-coloured hair and had a strong, hardened face, obviously someone who isn't easy to take in a fight.
"It isn't every day that someone gets the jump on me" he said, pushing away the sword and holding out his hand.
"It wasn't a fair fight; I took a cheap shot" I admitted with a smile and shook his outstretched hand.
"Roronoa Zoro" he said and I quickly replied "Hisakata L. Lilith".
I let go of his hand and looked behind him at the small cluster of people. I'd barely registered any of their faces when a figure shot out and clasped my hand, sinking to their knees.
"You're more radiant than the sun my dear, I've searched an eternity to find someone as beautiful as you" the man before me sighed, pressing his lips to my hand.
"Uh, hi..." I said, pulling my hand from his. He stood up and bowed, his blond hair rustling in the light breeze. "And I am Sanji, my love, eternally grateful that someone as gorgeous as you has graced this ship with your presence"!
"Okay, thanks Sanji...I'd love to continue with these laborious introductions but unfortunately" I jabbed a finger over my shoulder at the crowd sprinting towards the ship "We have a problem".
"Right!" yelled Luffy, punching the air with his fist "Then let's go"!
Sanji gave me a longing look before backing away to assist the crew in moving the ship. A young girl with flaming orange hair approached me as the ship was cast off from the dock with a jolt.
"Hi, I'm Nami, the ship's navigator. Let me be the first to formally say that I will be your only link to sanity aboard this ship. Everyone else is completely mad. Got it?" she said with a smile.
I laughed "Yeah, thanks for the tip".
She nodded before continuing "Zoro and Sanji you've already met, as well as our moron captain Luffy so-
"Wait-he's the captain?" I asked incredulously, looking over at Luffy who was dangling upside down from the railings.
"Yeah!" Nami laughed "He's going to be King of the Pirates"!
I looked up at Luffy again, who grinned and waved at me.
"King of the Pirates huh?" I muttered to myself "Then this should be an interesting voyage".