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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2. Nakama of the Present

Takara raised her eyebrow in utter surprise as she gazed upon Luffy's breathtaking ship.

"Welcome aboard the Thousand Sunny," the black haired captain gave her a huge smile, "Frankie built it himself, with some help from Usopp. Isn't it cool?"

"The coolest!"

"Oh great," Nami joined the group, not taking her eyes off her compass, "I hear another Luffy. Only this one sounds like a tiny girl with no tits."

"Hey," Sanji called from the kitchen, "did you guys find some meat?"

"Oh no," Zoro whispered in her ear, "word of advice, don't let that cook's sweet talk get to you."

The redhead smirked, "I am immune to anything men can throw at me."

Smiling with satisfaction, Zoro gave a grunt as he was roughly shoved aside by a blonde blur. Sanji had appeared before Takara on one knee, holding her hand within his. His eyes sparkled as he took in her every appearance.

"Oh, rose of the land," he said in his usual flirty tone, "how did someone as gorgeous as you find your way onto this filthy ship?"

"I walked on," the girl said, batting her eyes, "and I find the ship quite charming. Incredible, in fact. Whoever built it was a true genius. As was the person who incorporated this amazing weapon system."

"That would be us," Usopp and Frankie had appeared, "Usopp, captain of this fine ship, and Frankie, the mechanic."

"So you are the captain," Takara yanked her hand away from Sanji to approach the older boy, "you must be a great man then."

"Oh of course. There is no one braver upon this ship. I can handle anything that comes my way."

"Oh," a glint sparked in the girl's eyes, "then you wouldn't reject a simple spar, now would you...captain?"

By now, beads of sweat had begun to form at Usopp's temple. He eyed the sword at her side, trying to decide what to do.

"W-well," he said, trying to smile, "I have no blade. Would you, perhaps, object to a brute battle. No weapons. Just whatever our bodies can dig up from within."

"If you mean a fist fight," Takara gave a sweet chuckle, handing her sword to Zoro, "I'd be happy to oblige."

Breathing a little easier, Usopp gazed around at his crew. Usually, Luffy would have jumped in to explain that he was the true captain. But now, he merely sat on a barrel laughing. Robin had finally appeared from the library and was leaning against the rail beside Nami. Zoro looked like he was trying to hold back his own laughter while at the same time keeping Sanji from jumping to the girl's defense.

"Uh," he turned back to his opponent, who was stretching, "I didn't catch your name."

"I didn't throw it," she replied with a kind smile, "Yoshiko Takara, at your service. I'm an old friend of Luffy's."

"Oh, really," he said, turning his head slightly, "how long have you two known each other?"

"We grew up together. My father saved him once as a kid. It really pissed me off when he just left like he did."

"Luffy?"

"Oh, him too. But I was talking about my father," Takara readied herself, "now then, shall we begin?"

Usopp nodded, smirking, "It is against my gentleman's code to hit a lady, but I do not run from a fight either."

"Oh good," Takara's emerald eyes blazed, "just know that I don't hold back."

"That's what I like to hear! All right, let's get started!"

Her smile vanished as the boy's fist flew towards her head. Sidestepping, she grasped his wrist and flipped him onto his back. Winded, Usopp could do nothing as Takara stood on his chest with a single foot.

"Ryu-Ryu no," the entire crew gasped in fright as her neck began to glow with the embers of her attack, "Dragon Burst!"

Usopp screamed and shielded his face with his hands. He waited for the burn the fire was sure to bring. Instead, he felt nothing and heard only laughter. Opening his eyes, he found Takara holding out her hand. The area just above his head, however, had been burnt to a crisp. Screaming, he crawled to hide behind Frankie.

"Well now," the cyborg gave a throaty laugh, "that girl sure is super!"

"Indeed," Robin nodded, "having her with us can surely be a benefit. What say you, Captain Usopp?"

"Hey," Usopp cried out, "she just tried to burn me and you want her to come with us? And, on that note, why didn't you tell me you were a Devil Fruit user?"

"Why didn't you tell me the truth," Takara frowned, "I don't like liars, Usopp. I've been lied to most of my life. People telling me that they'll come back, and they never do. Making promises and then turning around and breaking them. That's why," her eyes began to blaze once more, "that's why I have to find my father! And find out why he never came back for me! He promised he'd come back once I was sixteen. That was four years ago! And yet I still hear of his adventures from the pirates that came to our island. He lied to me! And I won't rest until I find him. That's my dream!"

By now, Usopp was trying to hold back his tears. As was Nami, Sanji, Chopper, and Frankie. Luffy merely watched Takara with a awestruck look while Zoro remained expressionless. Robin took a step forward and placed a comforting hand on the younger girl's shoulder.

"All in favor," she smiled, "of Yoshiko Takara joining the Strawhat crew, say aye."

"Aye," Usopp answered first, wiping his tears away with a smile, "I can agree to that!"

"Aye!"

"Aye."

"Aye!"

"Aye."

Luffy nodded, giving his friend a thumbs up, "Aye. We'll find him. I just know it!"

Everyone glanced over at Zoro, who merely glared back. He knew the vote had to be unanimous. He glanced down at Takara's blade, which was still in his hand. It was elegant, the hilt a fine golden color and wrapped in crimson grip-cloth. The sheath was a glossy ebony, decorated with a gold inlay of a phoenix. And if he looked close enough, he could see the tiniest shards of rubies and topaz. Not big enough to cause the sheath to sparkle, but beautiful once someone got a closer look. He then glanced up at the owner. Much like her blade, she seemed plain at first; however, at a much closer look, Zoro was able to identify the hidden beauty. He couldn't describe it, but he wanted this girl to stay.

Walking up to her, he gently placed her blade in her hands.

"Aye," he said, smiling, "she can stay."

The rest of the Strawhats gave a great cheer, colliding into the pair for a giant group hug. Takara felt Frankie's arms expand slightly to pick everyone up. Laughing, she turned to share a smile with Zoro. He turned at that exact moment, causing their noses to collide. After a second of surprise, the pair laughed.

As soon as everyone was safely on the ground, Takara tied her blade to her side. The moment she looked up, fear clouded her eyes. Leaping forward, she tackled Luffy to the ground.

"Luffy! Look out!"

The crew gasped as a small knife buried itself into the mast where Luffy's head had been moments before.

"Damn," the redhead snarled as she got up, "I thought it would take him a lot longer to find me."

"Who?"

She pointed, "Him!"

The crew glanced over to see another ship approaching theirs. It wasn't as big, and looked ready to fall apart at a moment's notice. Both Usopp and Frankie cringed at the horrible repair job.

"Yoshiko Takara," a voice resembling a thunder clap came from the ship's crow's nest, "the Dragon of East Blue. You didn't think I'd let you leave my crew so easily, did you?"

Takara gave a snort of annoyance, turning her back on the ship and crossing her arms, "Honestly, no. But the fact that you are still following me around is just," she glanced back, her emerald eyes ablaze, "pissing me off."

The man, obviously the captain, gave a hearty laugh, "That's my girl! Show me that anger! Turn it into the flames that caused the Navy to fear us, the Firebird Pirates!"

And with that, his crew hoisted their flag; a diving phoenix holding a bloody sword. Takara sighed and turned her back on them once more.

"Takara, sweetheart," the captain begged, "come back to your darling Captain Naoki. Please? The crew here miss their first mate."

"Takara," Luffy smiled, awed by his friend, "you were the first mate of the Firebird Pirates?! That's so cool!"

"No," Takara growled, turning to face Naoki with a snarl, "get something straight, you filthy sea dog: I am a Strawhat Pirate! I am never returning to the Firebirds, nor shall I ever! Now, get lost before I destroy your ship...again."

Zoro glanced at the ship in surprise. She did all that damage?

The captain's face became a snarl of rage, "You always were too free spirited! I guess that was my fault. I should have broken you sooner."

"Hey," everyone glanced at Luffy, who had become dead serious, "There's something you've got to know about Takara."

"Eh," Naoki tilted his head in confusion, "what are you babbling about. She is a raging dragon who brought me all the power and wealth I wanted. What more do I need to know?"

Luffy's glare seemed to sorch the man more than Takara's flames, "She's my best friend! We grew up together in East Blue. She's always been there for me, like a big sister. And I've always tried to be there for her. She's got a dream to fulfill, and she can't do that if you're just using her like you are."

"She's a Devil Fruit user," Naoki burst into a fit of laughter, "their only purpose in life is to bring fame and fortune to their captains. Their masters! Now, Takara, come here at once! Your master commands you to return to your true nakama!"

Before Takara could say a word, her path was blocked by the Strawhat crew.

"We are her true nakama," Nami smirked, slamming the end of her weather rod into the deck, "not some ragtag pirates with a broken down boat."

"She's coming with us," Sanji snarled, "and you're not going to change that."

"Like I said," Luffy said, stepping forward, "Takara is my best friend. And I'm not going to let someone like you talk down to her and treat her like she's nothing!"

"Leon," Naoki screamed, "attack!"

Gasping in surprise, Takara leaped over the heads of her crew mates. Unsheathing her sword, she deflected a series of knives that came flying from the ship all aimed for Luffy. 

"Leon," she called out, "are you still following this guy? You know your talents could be put to better use than making this fool rich and powerful."

The knife thrower, a brunette man, shrugged as he flipped a knife into the air and caught it, "I could honestly care less who I follow. Life is too short to say no."

"Crew! Battle stations!"

"No, Luffy," Takara placed a hand on his shoulder, "let me handle this."

"Takara, we're nakama now," the black haired boy smiled, "that means we look out for one another. You're not alone anymore."

"He's right," Zoro chuckled, drawing his swords and pulling on his bandanna, "besides, those Navy bastards from earlier weren't much of a workout. I need a good fight."

Leon blinked in surprise as the swordsman's gaze fixated on him. Smirking, he threw another series of knives at him.

"Child's play."

Metal clashed against metal as Zoro easily deflected the attack. Leaping into the air, he landed on the other ship and charged Leon.

"Don't just stand there, you fools," Naoki snapped, "kill him!"

The Firebird pirates leaped into action, drawing their blades and charging Zoro.

"Oi," a few of the men glanced up in surprise to see Sanji standing on the bow of their ship, "why mess with that mosshead when I am more than willing to fight you?"

Leaping into the air, the blonde flipped forward and delivered a hard heel drop to the deck of the ship. Takara's mouth hung open in surprise as the wood seemed to explode, sending multiple pirates flying.

"Why you little bastard," Sanji turned to glare at a large pirate storming towards him, his hand on his sword hilt, "do you know how long it took us to fix that deck? I'm going to carve you into little pieces!"

Suddenly, the pirate felt another hand on his. Glancing down, he gave a high pitched scream and scrambled to unbuckle his blade from his belt. An entire arm had grown out the sword's sheath, grasping the hilt tightly to keep it sheathed. Blinking in surprise, Takara jumped slightly as Robin walked to stand beside her. Her arms were crossed over her chest and a series of flower petals seemed to twirl about her.

"Well, it's starting to look like a party," Brooke gave a flamboyant laugh, leaping gracefully into the air to join his Nakama on the enemy ship, "But it's missing something. I know," pulling a thin blade from the handle on his cane, he began to dance about, "music!"

The skeleton's dance seemed to entrance the crew, causing them to follow his movements to the best of their ability. Then, when they all stood exactly where he wanted them, the skeleton shot forward with his blade. The area seemed to freeze as he slowly sheathed his weapon once more. As soon as the familiar "CLICK" was heard, the Firebirds fell one by one onto the deck.

"Incredible," Takara breathed, "simply incredible. Your friends are amazing Luffy!"

The captain merely laughed as she watched Frankie throw Usopp high into the air. Taking his tricked out slingshot, the dark haired pirate took aim and fired...eggs? Tilting her head in confusion, Takara jumped in surprise as the men began to scream in pain. The yolks on their faces began to sizzle, causing their skin to burn.

"Acid eggs," Usopp smirked as Frankie caught him, "gets 'em every time. Toss me up again, big guy!"

Nodding, the cyborg gave him another throw, getting him higher this time. Luffy noticed some movement up in the enemy's crows nest. A single pirate took aim at the hovering Usopp with a pistol. Thinking quickly, Luffy grasped Frankie's shoulders. Using the cyborg as a slingshot, he launched himself into the air just as the gun fired. Usopp glanced behind him in shock and fear. Takara held her breath as Luffy's stomach absorbed the bullet for a split second before shooting it back at its owner.

"Thanks Luffy!"

Releasing her breath, Takara smiled as she turned to gaze up at the terrified Naoki. Smirking, she raised a single finger and curled it in her direction, daring him to come down to her. Snarling, the captain drew his sword and leaped down onto his deck. Drawing her own blade, Takara rushed to meet him halfway. Sparks flew as the metal crashed against one another. She danced around his blade, parrying with her own weapon. The pair's battle seemed to draw all gazes towards them. Even Zoro and Leon, who had been stuck in a blade lock, watched from the corners of their eyes.

"You know," the redhead chuckled as she dodged another one of his thrusts, "you could just leave me alone. Think of all the pain you'll avoid."

"You were the greatest thing to happen to me," Naoki snapped, "I was nothing before I found you!"

"I found you," she smirked, "remember? You were cornered by a couple Navy men and I stepped in. You practically begged me to join your crew. You were pathetic then and you're pathetic now."

"Then why did you join?"

"I needed a ride."

With a flick of her wrist, Naoki's sword was knocked from his hands. Falling back on his rear, he watched as Takara hovered the tip of her blade over his heart.

"Leave," she said firmly, all humor gone from her face, "and if you ever come after me again, I will not let you walk away."

Sheathing her blade, Takara turned and began to walk back towards the Thousand Sunny. She could hear a roar of rage behind her, following by the cocking of a gun. Acting quickly, she turned and used her blade to deflect the bullet. It wedged itself into Naoki's shoulder, causing him to scream in pain.

"Captain," Sanji leaped out of the way as the large swordsman he had been fighting took a swing at him, "hang on!"

Caught off guard, Takara could do nothing as her old crewmate wrapped his thick arms around her waist and dragged her overboard with him.

"Takara," Luffy screamed, stretching his arm towards her only to come up short, "no! She can't swim!"

"Good," Naoki gasped out, holding his bleeding shoulder, "let the traitor rot in her watery grave."

Shoving Leon away, Zoro ran to the side of the ship and dove headfirst into the freezing water. He could see the pair sinking a few feet below him. Red seeped up from the wound in the man's chest. A familiar blade protruded from it indicating that he must have run directly into Takara's blade, killing himself. Takara's green eyes met his. He could see all the fear in them as they slowly began to fade. A small burst of bubbles exploded from her mouth as her eyes slid shut. Swimming as fast as he could, Zoro reached forward to grab her wrist. Though he was dead, the Firebird pirate still maintained a deadly grip on her. Zoro's lungs burned as he struggled to pull his friend from the deathtrap. When he was finally able to free her, he quickly pulled her blade from the man's chest and sheathed it. Wrapping a strong arm around her waist, he turned and kicked towards the surface.

His lungs felt ready to explode, red tinting the edges of his vision. Closing his eyes, he erupted from the sea and took a deep inhale.

"Zoro!"

He weakly opened his eyes in time to see a hand stretching towards him. Grabbing it, he kept a tight grip on Takara as the Strawhats pulled the two of them on board. They fell in a soaked heap on the Thousand Sunny, surrounded by their cheering crewmates.

Still breathing heavily, Zoro laid Takara on her back and pressed an ear to her chest. He could hear a faint heartbeat, yet she still didn't move. Plugging her nose, he opened her mouth and blew into it. When she still didn't move, he placed his palms on her chest and gave a few short pushes. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open as water poured from her mouth. Coughing, she sat up and gazed around her.

"Did we win?"

The Strawhats gave a great cheer, pulling her into yet another group hug. Once again, she found herself facing Zoro. She noticed his soaking wet clothes and easily put two and two together.

Smiling, she leaned forward to whisper into his ear, "Thank you."

"That's what you do for your nakama," he whispered back, "you look out for one another."

Slowly, she brought her arms up to wrap them around his waist. He smiled and returned the hug. Her head rested on his shoulder as a scream of frustration came from the fleeing boat.

"Don't think this is over, Takara," Naoki's scream raced across the waters, "I will be back for you."

Takara glared in the ship's direction as she whispered, "I'll be waiting."

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