Categories > Anime/Manga > One Piece > The Life I Live

What Is Love?

by I-Dont-Like-I-Obsess 0 reviews

Summer is struggling to emotionally separate herself from the crew.

Category: One Piece - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor,Romance - Published: 2019-10-13 - 1691 words - Complete

They were leaving. The last of the supplies had been brought aboard. Repairs on the sub had been done and double checked, and then triple checked. Once Shachi and Penguin were satisfied that the integrity of the hull would last them the rest of their journey, they gave the all clear to set sail. No one waited on the shore to send them off, which came as no surprise.

Once again, Summer found herself stuck in the same damned infirmary bed with orders to stay there unless she wanted any further injuries. Once again, she was wrapped in fresh bandages and told not to move. She begrudgingly stayed put, knowing that her body would suffer long term consequences if she continued to push herself. Even if there was a good reason, she wasn't happy with it.

The descent into the ocean was rather bumpy, but Liam, who stayed in the infirmary to keep her company, explained that this was normal. It was unsettling to Summer, who felt like the entire vessel would break apart or something while they were underwater. The instruments on the metal side tables rattled loudly and the medical light above her swayed from side to side. She found herself gripping the sides of the bed tighter than necessary, but couldn't find it in her to let go.

Liam caught this and chuckled lightly. He reached out a laid a hand on her arm. "Don't worry, you'll get used to it soon enough." The sub gave another lurch as it went deeper into the ocean, and she gritted her teeth.

"I don't understand how anyone can get used to this."

Eventually, the rough sailing passed and the sub returned to normal. Summer relaxed after that, letting go of the railing and silently thankful for Liam's presence beside her.

The room was enveloped in a comfortable silence.

"I'm glad you came back to us, you know." Liam scratched the back of his head bashfully, not meeting her eyes. "I was a little worried you would leave the crew."

His admission caught her off guard. She blinked in surprise. "What?"

"I-I think…that you belong here, you know. We all…all of us…want you to stay." His blush intensified, his cheek now a deep red.

She looked away. The thought of leaving had crossed her mind on multiple occasions. Several times she had convinced herself to stay on the island. Thinking back now, the choice was obvious, but back then, the idea had certainly sounded tempting.

Out of the corner of her eye she glanced at Liam's uncertain expression, as if afraid his very words would break her. She hadn't thought her absence would have such a strong effect on the little crew.

'They grew attached to you and now there's nothing you can do about it. Do you want them to get hurt?'

It was then she realized that at this point, whether she stayed or left them behind, she would be causing them pain. That was the last thing that she wanted to do. Her eyes began to tear up, and surprisingly, she didn't care. Somewhere in the back of her mind, her conscious screamed at her to uphold her promise, but she found herself exhausted, worn, spent.

'I've done it again…'

Memories of her past came to her unbidden.

The dead faces of Mr. Porter and his family staring at her in blame, her sister's dead body at the feet of /Him/, all of the villages she had unknowingly brought destruction to by her presence alone. They all remained in her mind.

Summer struggled to choke back a sob and Liam immediately apologized.

"H-hey, no don't cry. I'm sorry if I said something…you didn't want to hear. I'll just...go now." He sighed at his own stupidity.

/'Stop hurting other people!' /Summer mentally yelled at herself. She grabbed his jumpsuit sleeve when he made to stand and walk away. He turned back with pain written on his face. Pain she had, yet again, caused.

"N-no, it's not your fault. I just…" A sob escaped her and she found herself crying for the first time in as long as she could remember. She scrubbed her face in vain to stop the wetness. "Please, I just...don't want to hurt you..."

He frowned slightly in confusion. "What are you talking about? You're not hurting us." She nodded vehemently.

"Y-yes I am…I made you all worry about me a-and…and-"He grabbed hold of her shoulders and gently shook her.

"Summer, you aren't hurting us. We love having you onboard. Did you honestly think we blamed you for our worry?" She nodded again, sniffing loudly. He shook his head and chuckled.

"Why are you laughing?" She asked miserably. He gently brought her hands out of her face and she felt her head being tilted up. His rough thumb wiped away the tears on her face. Her wide eyes took in his smiling face.

"It's just funny that you think you're causing us all pain. That's pretty stupid to think, baka." He poked her in the head. She blinked rapidly to stop crying, using the bandages on her arms to dry her face.

In the short week she had known Liam, he had changed so much. He was no longer the frightened gentleman she had first met. He voiced his opinions much more often, and Summer found herself thankful for the change.

"No one blames you for anything, we want you to stay. How many times do I have to say it?" She stared wide eyed at his smiling face.

For once, her conscious had nothing to say on the matter.

'Wants me to stay…'

'Don't blame me…'



Summer didn't answer Liam, instead she stared blankly out in front of her, her lips barely parted. He frowned in concern, waving a hand in front of her face.

"Uh…Summer?" She didn't respond, didn't even blink. Liam looked around, unsure of how to fix her.

"Summer?" No response. He resorted to waiting it out and hoping she would eventually snap out of it.


'Love does not exist.'

'Then what does?'

'Jealousy. Lust. Hatred.'

'I don't see any of that in this crew.'

'These are the things beneath the surface, beneath what can be detected. But they are there. You know they are.'


'Humans are vicious creatures, devoid of sympathy. Remember, years ago?'

'Don't talk about it! Of course I remember!'

'Do not trust them.'

'Liam was telling the truth. I know he was!'

'Humans lie, decieve, manipulate. It is their nature.'

'I don't believe that.'

Liam reluctantly picked up a nearby magazine to pass the time. As he read he glanced up at Summer occasionally, noting that her expression never changed.

/'Should I get the captain?' /He shook his head.

Her breathing was normal and he saw no outward signs of a seizure. People couldn't slip into a coma sitting up with their eyes open, and she certainly hadn't died. Shrugging in resignation, he went back to his reading.

'You can't tell them.'

'He said love. They're different.'

'If it even does exist, how do you know it is real love?'

'His eyes told me. I can trust them.'

'No. You will only kill them in the end.'

'I'm tired of running.'

'Running is how you survive.'

'I don't want to survive! I want to live!'

'You must not let them distract you.'

'They can help me become stronger.'

'Don't do it.'

'To hell with you!'

'This is a mistake.'

'I've made my decision.'

'Decisions co /me at a price. Are you willing to pay it?'/

Liam quickly looked up when movement caught his eye. Her head turned to him and he saw the clarity return to her bright eyes. "L-Liam?" She asked. He raised an eyebrow and nodded slowly, not sure what exactly what to do.

"Ah!" He said in surprise as she launched forward and wrapped her arms around him, squeezing so tight he struggled to breathe. "S-Summer?" He asked hesitantly.

Her response was to squeeze tighter. "Thank you." He heard her whisper. He grinned and wrapped his own arms around her small figure.

Law stood in the navigation room with Bepo, directing the course away from that damned island of women. The polar bear occasionally adjusted a dial or twisted a knob. Satisfied that he was no longer needed, he returned to his own quarters.

Closing the door behind him, he leaned his nodachi against the wall and placed his hat on the table with his medical books. The stack was outrageously large; numerous were open to random pages and his notes were scattered about the table. He didn't mind the clutter, so he left it as it was.

Running a hand through his unruly hair, he stretched his stiff limbs. He stretched out on his bed, the soft, black comforter a welcome relief to his tired body. His rest was short-lived, however, as a knock at his door brought a glare to his face.

"Come in." He called, silently cursing whoever lay behind the door. To his surprise, Liam entered a moment later. The medic looked a little flustered and Law recalled he had been assigned to watch Summer. Something told him she had been the cause of it. For some reason, he didn't like the ideas that came with that train of thought. He stood up from the bed and raised an eyebrow in question.

"Captain, Summer asked to speak with you. She said it was important." Law's irritation faded in an instant.

"Thank you. You may go now." Liam nodded and he exited the room. Law smirked widely, knowing full well what it was the girl wanted to talk about. He grabbed his hat, leaving his sword behind deciding that now she was willing to talk he didn't want to scare her back into silence. He had waited long enough already.

He wanted answers.
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