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

New Beginnings

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

Summer is finding herself integrating pretty well into the crew.

Category: One Piece - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor,Romance - Published: 2019-10-13 - 1799 words - Complete

"No! Impossible! You must be cheating!" A half naked Shachi shouted, knocking his chair over in the process, as Bepo showed the table his hand of a Royal flush. Penguin, equally unclothed, furiously threw his measly pair of sixes down onto the table in a flurry of cards, just as angry as his best friend. They stood fuming at the bear who watched innocently at their violent outburst.

"Sorry…" The bear said in apology, his head hanging low. Both men sweat dropped at the bear's depressing state.

"Ah! So easily defeated!" They said in unison.

"Hey, don't yell at Bepo." Summer ordered sternly, sitting next to the polar bear as she revealed a flush of her own. Both men fell to the floor at her cards, their faces darkening with depression.

"Not fair…"

"How is it possible?" They mumbled into the metal floor. The surrounding crewmembers who had been watching the impromptu game of poker laughed wholeheartedly at the defeated engineers. One of the mechanics for the engine room, Toby, patted Summer none too gently on the back.

"You're one hell of a poker player, Summer-chan!" Summer coughed discreetly as she gained her breath back. She turned and gave the man a timid smile.

Being officially 'inducted' into the crew had really changed Summer's experience on the little sub. Men more openly greeted her in the hallways and invited her into their entertainment. She had yet to really get used to the kindness and caring nature of everyone aboard. Nonetheless, Summer felt a weight fall off her shoulders at each wild antic the crew performed, such as the sudden poker game she found herself playing.

"Ah! Summer-chan! Come play a game with us! You've played poker before, right?" Penguin shouted, waving at her from across the mess hall. Shachi beamed up at his friend.

"Oi, maybe a game of strip poker?" Shachi suggested quietly to his friend. Both men's faces took on a daydream-ish look as they envisioned the possible outcomes of such a game. Bepo, who was sitting across from them, scrunched his face up in confusion.

"Why do you want to play a game of strip poker? You'll lose all your clothes." The bear said innocently. Both men angrily turned on the bear.

"Shut up! You wouldn't understand!" They shouted. Summer had wandered over to the loud group of pirates by this time.

"I've played poker before." She smiled hesitantly, still unaccustomed to being fully part of the crew. Penguin closed his eyes as he smiled widely.

"The thing is, us Heart Pirates only play strip poker." Shachi nodded vehemently beside him.

"That's right! We can't just change to a normal game all of a sudden!" Summer furrowed her brows.

"You only play strip poker? How strange." She said quietly.

"So, if you want to be a fully fledged member of this pirate crew, you've gotta play a game at least once! Why not get it out of the way?" Penguin desperately tried to convince her to play, raising his eyebrows expectantly. She seemed torn.

"Well…I guess one game wouldn't hurt. I don't know all the different rules attached to strip poker so you might have to teach me a little bit." She said, sitting down next to the polar bear, his face still scrunched in thought. He was still wondering why the two had lied and said they always played strip poker. They never played anything other than the classic game. He assumed that this time something was different. The only difference from usual was…He perked up as he had a thought. Suddenly, his confused expression cleared up, and he smacked his fist into his paw.

"Ah! You want to play strip poker so Summer-chan will be naked!" The engineers glared with obvious fury at the first mate.

"Quiet you! Not another word!" They seethed. Summer, surprisingly, was chuckling at their antics. By this time, she was getting used to the two engineers' shocked expressions on their faces were entertaining as well.

"So, that's why you want to play. Alright, I can't back away from a challenge. I'll warn you though, I'm experienced with games of card so I'm not gonna go easy."

"How about teams? You and Bepo versus me and Penguin?" Shachi asked. Grinning, Summer nodded her head.

The cards were then dealt to each player.

Catcalls erupted from the surrounding crew as the two engineers finally rose from their position on the floor. They gave each other one more miserable glance and then proceeded to take off their pants. Standing only in their underwear, the crew laughed good-naturedly at the two defeated card players.

Summer grinned evilly as she watched her conquest, gathering the cards back into the deck. The engineers sweat dropped.

'Just as heartless as Captain…'

Suddenly, the door to the mess hall opened and a curious Law stepped into the room. He frowned in confusion at the sight of his two undressed engineers and the gathered crowd. His gaze swept over the cards in Summer's hands and his frowned turned into a smirk.

"Shachi, Penguin." The two friends looked up in hope at their captain, obviously praying he would order the crew to quit fooling around and get back to work, anything to shorten the embarrassment of their loss.

"You've never been good at poker. Why even try?" He turned away with a dark chuckle, leaving the two lying on the floor to mumble in defeat.

"Captain's so heartless…"

"So cruel…"

"Oi! Clear out! We'll be startin' dinner shortly!" Casper shouted as the kitchen door opened. He gestured to Summer to come with him. She organized the cards, got up quickly and made her way over.

"Alright, we're makin' a beef stroganoff, so get out the pots and saucepans. Hurry now." He said, dashing off to prepare a side dish.

Summer threw on her apron and hastily tied her hair back out of her face. She quickly washed her hands in the sink and turned to the cupboards that she was so familiar with now.

'Familiar…That's something new.'

With her life of always being on the run and constant hiding, familiar didn't seem possible to her. Yet, as she held the tarnished sauce pan in her hand, a warm feeling developed in her chest and spread through her whole body. The sensation brought a wide smile to her face.

'Maybe things will be better…'

"Oi! Quit your daydreamin' and get to cookin'!" Casper gently hit his fist on her head. Shaking it to wake herself up from her thoughts, she began to prepare dinner.

Shachi finished putting on the rest of his clothing, watching as Penguin did the same next to him. The two were in their quarters, released from the embarrassing scene in the mess deck by the pitying crew.

"Who knew Summer-chan would be so good at cards." Penguin commented, to which his friend nodded.

"Yeah." The two were left to their thoughts and a silence hung over the small bedroom.

"Hey…" Shachi started after a few minutes silence. Penguin looked at him in anticipation. "Did it seem to you that Summer-chan was…I don't know…happier than she has been?" He shook his head in frustration. "No, happy isn't the right word, it's…I don't know what it is, but you know what I mean, right?"

Penguin nodded slowly in thought. "She feels…safe…I think."

"Yeah, that's it!"

"So, do you think she'll stay from now on?" Penguin asked quietly, looking at his friend in seriousness. Shachi thought about it for awhile.

"I don't think I'll be around long enough to know."

He smiled at his friend. "Yeah, I think so."

Casper glanced over at the girl as she silently worked. He took in the faint smile that touched her lips and grinned slightly himself. Whatever the girl was thinking of, it sure made her happy.

The captain had explained to him the girl's past a few days before. Since then, one could say he became rather protective of her, stepping in when he deemed things were getting a little too out of hand around her. Like she was the daughter he never had.

'She deserves to be happy.' He focused back on the raw meat before him.

Summer walked in exhaustion to her quarters, struggling to keep her eyes open. Dinner had lasted longer than usual, as every crewmember seemed to want to recount the events that had happened before dinner. Summer, of course, was required to do the retelling. The hallways felt long but comfortable to her as she slowly made her way, coaxing her into her room.

'My room...'

She smiled weakly in her spent state, enjoying the return of that warm feeling from earlier. Her arms unconsciously wrapped themselves around her middle, squeezing tightly in an effort to keep the feeling with her forever.

Law had arranged a room for her after their deal, saying sternly that she took up too much space in his infirmary. Summer didn't mind the insult in his words as she had been too busy gazing at her room in wonder.

She reached her door in the darkened hallway, a tired hand slowly reaching for the door.

Upon entering, she felt the same amazement she had when she first looked at it.

The room was small. A plain bed and desk, along with a drawer and a few shelves, furnished the room. It was painted the default tan. It was smaller than any of the other men's rooms since it had been converted from a storage room. It had no personality.

Summer loved it.

A room of her own was a foreign thought. Where other children had warm beds and playrooms, she had trees and caves. Bugs and snakes. Darkness and the cold. Having a whole room in her possesion was quite possibly the greatest gift she had ever been given. Law's infuriating smirk entered her mind.

'Not that I would tell him that...' Telling the man something like that would probably just inflate his already ridiculessly large ego. She shook her head to get rid of him from her mind. She returned her thoughts to her room.

All she had to do was make it feel lived in, loved, cared for. At first sight, she was already imagining what a few adjustments and personal items could do to the bland room.

It was then that she noticed she was just standing in the doorway, looking at the room instead of falling into sleep on the bed (which was much more comfortable than the infirmary ones anyway.)

Padding her way over to the bed, she dropped on top unceremoniously. Not caring that she was fully clothed, she fell asleep almost instantly.

Her dreams were quite pleasant that night.
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