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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5. Touch the Sky

Ever since that day, Zoro would use Takara as a pillow whenever he could. It usually resulted in Sanji kicking him off her, but she didn't seem so bothered with it anymore. In fact, the young redhead had come to expect the feeling of her tutor's head in her lap or against her breasts whenever they sat together.

That day had been a particularly hot one, drenching each crew mate in a fine layer of sweat. Robin and Nami were relaxing beneath an umbrella, drinking smoothies Sanji had whipped up for them. Luffy, Usopp, and Chopper lay on the deck, moaning in discomfort. Franky tried to keep them cool by building a fan, yet it merely blew more hot air onto them. Zoro lay asleep in Takara's lap while she read Nami's discarded newspaper. The only one who didn't seem bothered by the heat was Brooke, who provided beautiful violin music as the Thousand Sunny glided slowly across the water.

Nami, Robin, and Takara wore simple bikini tops (causing Sanji's face to become bright red every time he came near them). Zoro wasn't sure why, but he liked Takara's best. It was a simple thing, dark red in color with no design, but he felt it suited her very well.

"Sure is hot today," Robin commented, glancing over at the pair of swordsmen with a giggle, "I don't know how you two can stand cuddling like that."

"We're not cuddling," Takara snapped, pink dusting her cheeks, "he's just sleeping."

Nami smirked, a mischievous glint passing across her brown orbs, "How do you know? He could just be faking it so he can put his head in your lap and on your breasts."

"Please," Takara smirked, turning her attention back to the newspaper, "Zoro's not interested in that kind of thing."

"He's a man," the orange haired girl winked, "of course he's interested in it."

"Luffy's a man," Takara argued, "but can you honestly tell me the last time he looked at a woman the same way he does meat?"

"Meat," Luffy jumped into the conversation, "where?"

"There's no meat, Luffy," his friend rolled her eyes with a soft smile, "go back to sleep."

"M'kay."

The girls shared a chuckle before Nami continued, "But seriously, I've never seen Zoro act so casually around a woman before."

"Maybe he's just comfortable with me," the redhead shrugged, "I mean, he is giving me lessons."

"So what? I bet you right now if he started giving me lessons, he wouldn't be doing that to me!"

"That's because you'd hit him if he tried."

"You're missing the point."

Robin stopped listening, turning her attention back to her book while taking a sip of the mostly melted smoothie.

"Ah Takara-san," she glanced up at Sanji, who offered her a popsicle, "I made this for you. I hope you'll enjoy it."

"Thanks Sanji," she smiled, accepting the frozen treat, "if you made it, then I'm positive I'll love it."

While the blonde seemed to float away with hearts in his eyes Takara took a bite out of the popsicle, enjoying the coolness it brought her mouth along with the taste of strawberries. Below her, Zoro stirred before lazily opening a single eye.

"Where'd you get that?"

"Sanji."

"Figures."

"Want a bite?"

Instead of answering, Zoro merely closed his eye and opened his mouth expectantly. Smiling, Takara flipped the treat upside down and gently touched his tongue with the tip of it. Clamping his teeth around it, half of the frozen item disappeared. He chewed it slowly, allowing the coolness to coat the inside of his mouth before swallowing. Suddenly, his eyes snapped open and he shot into a sitting position while grasping his head.

"Zoro," Takara stood up in surprise, "are you okay?"

The swordsman didn't answer, giving a pained groan.

"Zoro?"

"Brain freeze!"

Takara remained silent for a single second before bursting into a fit of laughter. He turned to glare at her as the pain slowly faded.

"Well since you're off me now," she smirked, giving a large stretch, "I can finally cool myself off."

"And how do you plan on doing that?"

Walking to the edge of the ship, Takara jumped up onto the railing and breathed in the sea air.

"Oi," Zoro's startled cry caused the rest of the crew to glance over in surprise, "what are you thinking?! You'll sink!"

Takara leaned forward until she fell off the side of the ship. Nami gave a scream of shock as she and the rest of the crew ran to the side of the ship and peered over it. What they saw, however, was not a drowning crew mate but clear waters.

"Did anyone hear a splash," Brooke asked, "because I didn't. Then again, I'd need ears to hear that sort of thing. Yohohohoho!"

Zoro scanned the water for any signs of his friend, ready to jump in as soon as he caught sight of that red hair.

"What are you guys looking at?"

"We're looking for you," Luffy said, clearly worried as he took a quick glance back to share a gaze with Takara, "you jumped into the sea!"

"Did I," she smirked, waiting patiently, "I don't recall doing that."

Blinking in sudden realization, Zoro whipped around to gaze upon the large pair of leathery wings which had sprouted from his friend's back.

"What the hell," he shrieked, causing the rest of the crew to turn around, "since when could you grow wings?!"

"It's a part of the Ryu-Ryu fruit abilities," she smirked, sending him a wink, "and another reason why I'm called Takara the Dragon."

"Ah," Luffy smiled brightly, "so you're a monster!"

"Says the rubber man!"

Flying higher, Takara turned and dove once more towards the sea only to pull up at the last second and glide above the water. The wind rushed past her, cooling her off within moments before she caught an updraft and gained altitude. She circled the ship, entrancing the crew with her fluid movements and daring aerial acrobatics.

"That wind must feel nice," Nami sighed, wiping the sweat from her brow, "I think I'll go draw a bath. Robin, care to join me?"

"A cool bath does sound nice."

"I'll prepare you some snacks to enjoy while you soak," Sanji said sweetly, giving a small bow, "Nami-san and Robin-chan."

"Thank you, Mister cook."

As the trio walked off, Luffy and Usopp decided to travel below deck to hide from the harsh rays of the sun. Chopper returned to his room to once again go through his medical supplies and write down a shopping list for the next town. Brooke and Franky traveled up to the crow's nest, hoping the height would bring cool winds with it. Zoro, however, continued to stand on the deck and watch his pupil soar through the sky with a small smile on his face.

After a few moments, she glided down to land on the deck beside him, "Enjoy the show?"

"Show off."

She frowned, shrugging, "Well, I was going to ask if you wanted to fly, but if you'd rather sweat down here-"

"You sure you can carry me?"

"Hmm," she smirked, reaching out to squeeze his bicep, "maybe. That is, if your fat doesn't weigh us down."

"My what?!"

"I'm kidding. Of course I can carry you."

Scowling, the swordsman removed his three blades and placed them on the deck beside her short sword. As he went to turn around, a pair of thin arms wrapped around his torso and under his arms. He grunted in surprise as he felt the deck beneath him vanish. Takara carried them higher before suddenly dropping headfirst into a dive. The sheer speed caused the length of Zoro's body to press against hers while he gripped her arms tightly.

Unable to stop himself, he screamed. The redhead laughed as she pulled up in time to once again hover over the water. Zoro glanced down at their reflection, a small smile creeping onto his face as he reached down to run his fingers through the freezing sea. Flapping her wings, Takara brought them higher. She leveled out, circling the Thousand Sunny.

A chill passed down Zoro's spine as she suddenly asked, "Do you trust me?"

He turned in attempts to glance back at her, barely able to make out her eye in his peripheral.

"Yes."

Smirking, Takara grunted as she threw Zoro as high as she could. He screamed in terror, feeling his weight begin to bring him back down. He fell a few feet before landing on something beneath him. Takara laughed as he wrapped one arm over her shoulder and the other under her chest, locking his fingers tightly together.

"YOU PSYCHO!"

"You said you trusted me."

"A mistake I'll never make again!"

She simply laughed as she gently glided down to land on the deck. As soon as their feet were once again on solid ground, Zoro leaped away from her while her wings vanished in a sudden burst of flames. She turned around to smile at him innocently.

"Did you at least have fun?"

Giving a loud sigh, the green haired teen couldn't help but smile back, "Yeah, I had fun."

"Good," she winked, "because started tomorrow, you and I are going to start working on some aerial attacks."

"Say what?!"

"Think about it," she said, "if we could attack from the air, we could gain a great advantage in fights."

"You honestly think we can pull something like that off?"

She smirked, "Think of it as training."

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