One Piece: Treasures of the Heart

Yoshiko Takara is Luffy's childhood friend and the daughter of "Red Haired" Shanks Le Roux. Shanks made sure she kept her mother's maiden name so his enemies and the Navy wouldn't find out about her. She is very gifted with a blade and is a Devil Fruit user. Takara's Ryu-Ryu fruit gives her the abilities of a dragon; including breathing fire, growing a pair of leathery wings, and forming scale like armor over her skin. She creates a strong bond with Roronoa Zoro, promising to protect him so he can pursue his dream of becoming the world's greatest swordsman. Will she keep that promise? Or will a shadow from her past tear them apart?

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3. Dreams of the Future

Nearly a week had passed since the Strawhats' newest crewmate had joined them. She settled in nicely, becoming fast friends with Robin and Nami. Takara had soon learned to avoid Sanji at all times lest he start his flirting. Usopp and Frankie showed her around the ship, all the while telling her their magnificent tales. She learned basic healing from Chopper and was often found dancing to Brooke's music for the crew after dinner. More often than not, Luffy would get up to dance with her. The pair would sway about, usually with Takara taking the lead and Luffy tripping over his own feet. She also helped Zoro train, sparring with him for hours on end. With how much leaping about the ship they did, the swordsman was shocked she had the energy to dance every evening after dinner.

One day, as the ship glided lazily over the water, Takara found herself up in the crow's nest. There were no clouds in the sky today, making the entire world seem like an endless blue ocean. Smiling, she leaned her elbows onto the guardrail and closed her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she inhaled the sweet smelling sea breeze and exhaled deeply.

"Figured I'd find you up here," she turned as Zoro climbed in beside her, "sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you."

"You didn't," she said, flashing him a smile, "I was just thinking."

"About what?"

"I was wondering what my dad was up to," she said, gazing back out onto the water, "I know why he chose this life. It's wonderful and you get to be so free."

"Takara," Zoro's sigh caused her to turn and notice him gazing at her with sad eyes, "I don't think your dad meant to leave you behind. Maybe something came up. What did your mother say?"

She shrugged, "My mom's a Navy officer."

"Oh," he paused, suddenly processing what she had said, "WHAT!?"

Laughing, she nodded, "My mom is Chief Petty Officer Yoshiko Kokona. She arrested my dad as he was passing through East Blue. I guess on their way back to the nearest Navy shipyard, my dad wooed her. They had a little...fling. I don't think my mom expected anything would come from it. While my dad was in jail, she found out she was pregnant and busted him out the day I was born. She promised not to tell anyone that he escaped if he found a safe place for me to live."

"So he took you to Luffy's island?"

She nodded, "We grew up together. It was great. I grew up knowing my dad would one day whisk me off with him one day. The day before my birthday, I had packed three bags to take with me because I was so excited. I waited on the dock from sunup to sundown. But he never showed up."

The pair fell silent, listening as the waves softly slapped against the hull of the ship.

"Oi! Takara," she glanced down to see Nami and Robin waving up at her, "come down here! Robin and I have something for you!"

Confused, she turned to share a shrug with the swordsman, "I'll be back in a little bit."

Zoro smiled as she proceeded to climb down the ladder. Figuring he'd better get some sleep, he settled down and closed his eyes.

 

"Hey Zoro," he felt someone gently shaking him awake, "what do you think?"

Opening his eyes, the green haired boy nearly choked on the yawn escaping his mouth. Takara stood beside him wearing a stunning new outfit. Having gotten rid of the striped shirt he had met her in, Nami had given her an old black top she no longer wore. The shirt only had one sleeve which stopped at her right elbow. On her left forearm was a red cloth armband, a matching sash tied around her waist to keep her sword at her hip. Since she didn't like skirts, Robin had kindly given her a pair of shorts that rode pretty high. Her feet were protected by tall black boots, the toes covered in steele.


She had left her hair to hang freely about her shoulders, the crimson strands framing her delicate looking face and causing her vibrant eyes to stand out drastically against her pale skin.

"The girls said my clothes needed to be cleaned, so they loaned me these ones," she said with a smile, turning to give him a good look at all the angles, "I really like them. What do you think?"

Blinking a few times to rid his eyes of sleep, Zoro quickly pinched himself to make sure he wasn't still dreaming. Pulling himself to his feet, he smirked and gave a nod of approval.

"You look like a swordsman," he said, "they suit you."

Giving her own smile, she pushed a strand of her hair out of her face, "Thanks."

"What do you say we see if they're fight-friendly?"

Smirking, Takara quickly drew her blade as Zoro clashed two of his against it. Throwing him away, she leaped out of the crow's nest. Grabbing one of the ropes used to tie down the sails, she swung to safety and turned to watch as Zoro merely slammed down onto the deck. He charged her once more, placing his third sword between his teeth. Flipping her own sword so that the blade protected her arm, she succeeded in holding the tall boy in a blade lock. Lifting her right leg, she delivered a strong kick to his stomach and sent him flying backwards into the kitchen.

"What the hell," Sanji exclaimed, turning in surprise to see Zoro smirk, "what's going on? Are we being attacked?"

Ignoring the cook, the green haired pirate merely charged back outside. Confused, Sanji followed in time to see him take another swipe at Takara.

"Oi," he snarled, leaping forward to sideswipe the swordsman, "how dare you attack a woman! Do you have no shame?"

Zoro gave a grunt of surprise as he was sent rolling away.

"We were just training, Sanji," Takara said, rolling her eyes, "all in good fun."

"Please, Takara-sama," Sanji knelt before the red haired beauty, pulling a rose seemingly from nowhere and offering it to her, "if anyone should help you become stronger, then it should be me. I would be a far better opponent that that mosshead."

"You want to start something," Zoro snarled, readying his blades, "you perverted love cook!?"

Suddenly Usopp came running up from below deck, "Would you quit it with all the noise up here? Some of us are trying to work!"

"I'm sorry, Usopp," Takara bowed and sheathed her blade, "I'll just train some other time."

As she turned to walk away, Zoro blinked in surprise. He watched as she returned to the crow's nest, vanishing through the door and into the dome up top.

"Way to go, idiot," Sanji snarled as he turned to walk back towards the kitchen, "now she's upset."

"Luffy," the boys glanced up in surprise as their new crewmate reappeared, "land ho!"

"Oh good," Sanji smiled, "I've been needing to restock the galley."

"Meat Sanji! We need more meat!"

"Nami," the orange haired girl glanced up as Takara gazed out along the ocean, "we've got shallows coming up fast off the starboard bow."

"Aye aye," she called back, positioning herself behind the wheel, "what else can you see?"

"Nothing but clear skies, open water, and that island."

 

As the Sunny glided smoothly into port, Takara rejoined her crew down on the deck. Nami stood before them, handing out shopping lists as well as a small purse of money. Receiving both list and cash, Takara glanced over it quickly.

"Zoro," the greenette glanced over at his navigator with a scowl, "why don't you go with Takara? She's got the biggest list."

"Fine."

As the pair leaped onto the dock, the redhead could see him smirking at Sanji's glare.

"If anything happens to her, I'll kill you marimo!"

"She's a big girl," Zoro scowled back, "she can take care of herself."

Takara couldn't help but chuckle as they entered the town.

"Even so," she heard him murmur, "I'd never let anything happen."

She couldn't fight the heat rising to her cheeks. Pulling out her list, the young girl tried her best to concentrate on anything to lessen her blush. Suddenly, she felt a presence as Zoro leaned in behind her to look at the list. His chest nearly touched her back, his sturdy chin hovering over her shoulder.

"You okay," he asked suddenly, "your face is really red."

Jumping at his observation, Takara hurried off towards the nearest store, "I'm fine, you idiot!"

Raising a surprised eyebrow, Zoro merely sighed as he followed her.

"Women."

The store wasn't that crowded, a few people browsing the shelves for what they needed. Zoro quickly spotted Takara's red hair towards the back. Making his way to her side, he glanced at the list and reached up to pluck an item from the shelf. The pair continued in silence, Takara avoiding his gaze as often as she could. As she reached for a can of parsley, however, she froze as a larger hand wrapped around hers. Zoro blanched as his fingers brushed against hers.

"Sorry," he said quickly, "I'll meet you at the register."

As he hurried away, the redhead gave a sigh placing the can in her basket. Joining him at the register, she pulled out her coin purse and proceeded to pay for the items.

"All right! Nobody move," Zoro glanced back in surprise as three armed pirates burst into the shop, "nobody dies."

"And here I thought today would be boring," Takara smirked as she turned to lean on the counter, "you boys have a death wish or something?"

"We're the ones with the weapons, lady!"

"Uh, buddy?"

The pirates glanced down at her shortsword, pausing only a second before they burst into laughter.

"You think a toothpick is going to intimidate us? We're members of the Skull Pirates!"

"I don't give a shit if you sailed with Gol D Roger himself," Zoro blinked in surprise as his crewmate stepped forward, "You do not, I repeat do not, insult my blade!"

"Aw look boys," the lead pirate chuckled, "she's getting upset. Honestly, you're cuter when you're pissed."

"Oi," the trio finally noticed Zoro leaning against the counter, "If you think I'm going to just let you talk any way you please about my nakama or her blade, you're sorely mistaken."

"R-Roronoa Zoro!"

"The pirate hunter?!"

"Oh way to go, Slick," the shortest pirate squealed, giving his companion a firm slap upside the head, "pick the one store with a pirate hunter!"

Slick glared, tightening the grip on his blade, "Pirate hunter or not, we're not walking out of here without that cash."

Zoro shared a chuckle with Takara, "You sure you want to play this game, Slick?"

The man paled, taking a gulp as he continued to gaze into the green haired boy's dark eyes.

"Let's go, boys," he finally snarled, "we've got to report to Captain Blackmane."

Takara blinked in surprise, "Blackmane's running the Skull Pirates now? Whatever happened to Skull?"

Slick blinked in surprise, "He was killed in combat. First mate Blackmane took charge then."

"Honestly I'm surprised that old coot's still kicking," she chuckled, relaxing almost at once, "tell him Yoshiko Takara says hello."

Slick nodded furiously before leading his men back out onto the street. Sighing, Zoro turned to continue paying for their groceries.

"Please take them," the cashier smiled, "as a thank you for chasing those pirates away."

Shrugging, Zoro picked up the bags and led Takara back out into the street.

"Looks like all that's left are some fruits you can only get on this island," she said, tucking the list back into her pocket, "if you want to head back to the ship, I can handle this myself."

"I don't doubt that," he chuckled, "but if I go back without you, the cook won't let me hear the end of it. Or he'll come looking for you."

"Whatever," she said, "doesn't matter to me either way."

He smirked, leaning in close to her. Surprise, Takara did the only thing she thought of; she backed up against a nearby wall. The swordsman's arm rested above her, letting his face hover unbearably close to hers. His smirk only deepened when he noticed the explosion of red which overtook the entirety of her face.

"Why do I get the feeling you're trying to get rid of me," he asked, "do you feel intimidated by me?"

"Hardly," she snapped, "I'm just used to doing things by myself."

"Hate to break it to you, but you'd better learn to work as a team."

"I know how to work as a team," she snarled, thrusting her face towards his and causing him to back off, "maybe you should learn about respecting someone's personal space."

He blinked in surprise before laughing and holding his hands up in defense, "Take it easy, I was just teasing you."

"Quit playing around," she snarled, shoving past him back into the crowd, "come on."

Following her, Zoro found himself wondering if he had crossed some kind of line. Then again, how was he to know if she didn't tell him?

He scoffed yet again, "Women."

 

Upon returning to the ship and returning Nami's change to her, Takara made her way to the back of the ship. Most of the crew were still in town, leaving her alone with her thoughts. She shouldn't have snapped at him, she knew, and she wasn't completely sure why she had reacted in such a way. Perhaps she should apologize.

She sighed. No, there was no "perhaps" about it. She needed to apologize.

"Takara-sama," she turned with a groan as Sanji fell to a single knee before her, "how was your shopping trip?"

"Interesting."

"That's wonderful news," the blonde swooned, "perhaps you can tell me all about it over a relaxing cup of afternoon tea? I could go brew some up right now."

"No thanks," she said curtly, "I need to go find Zoro."

"What for? I'm far better company than that mosshead."

"I kind of snapped at him today, and I really need to apologize for it."

"Whatever he did, I'm sure your reaction was appropriate."

Ignoring the cook, Takara merely walked around him and glanced up at the crow's nest. The swordsman was surely up there training again...or napping. As she climbed up, she could hear his heavy grunting and decided to keep the apology quick so as not to disturb him while training. Like her, he took it very seriously and became quite agitated when his concentration was broken.

"Zoro," she called out as she opened the hatch and climbed up, "I need to talk to you?"

"Oh? 2,875," he grunted, his pinkie finger shaking as he slowly dropped into another push up, "2,876. What about? 2,877. Our little spat earlier? 2,878."

"Actually yeah."

"2,883. Okay, so talk. 2,884."

"I wanted to apologize," she sighed, leaning against the wall with her arms crossed, "I shouldn't have snapped like that. You just made me uncomfortable, is all."

"Did I? 2,897. 2,898. How so?"

"You were just so," she turned away in attempts to hide her flushed cheeks, "close all day. Ever since you made that comment about not letting anything happen to me, you've been so close."

"2,913. Is that what all the fuss was about? 2,914. Well then I guess I'm sorry too. 2,915. I didn't mean to make you so uncomfortable. 2,917."

"You skipped 2,916."

"Did I," he asked again, sending a smile her way before easing himself onto his stomach, "I suppose that's enough push ups for now. Time for some meditation."

"You mean time for your afternoon nap?"

"I know what I said."

"Hey Zoro," he glanced up at her, "are we good?"

Chuckling, he flashed her a thumbs up, "Yeah, we're good."

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