Trafalgar Law Week Day One (4/20) - Heart Pirates //
The Heart Pirates did everything they could for their captain when they could. Those mornings when they knew their captain had been up all night looking through medical texts, there was always a pot of coffee ready and waiting for the grumpy man upon his emergence from his room. And if he noticed that they took extra care to be more quiet in their complaints of the heat or while they worked away in the hull of the ship, he said nothing. It wasn’t long after the crew was formed that they all realized that they cared for their captain like he was family because, in a sense, he was family. The glue that bound their group together. Without him, they would not have met one another and would not have had the numerous adventures.
That’s why, when they separated from their captain for an undisclosed amount of time, the worry that clawed at all of their throats was not totally unexpected. Sure, there were reassurances from the now Shichibukai that everything would be fine, but the crew knew he was lying to them. So, to lay their worries to rest, Trafalgar Law placed a scrap of paper into the large white paws of his first mate and best friend.
“It’s a Vivre Card. I have one for you as well. Don’t follow it - that is an order.” So why give it to them, the crew wailed. Law only smiled, patting the apologizing Bepo on the head and turning his back to them for the last time. “So you can see when I die.”
The words stuck with the crew. Days, weeks, and months they sat around the scrap of paper, watching with anticipation for any kind of reaction. How did a Vivre Card work, only Jean Bart knew that one. Watch for burning edges, he would remind the crew while he did the maintenance that they were too busy to attend to. Burning edges mean that the person is dying. Of course, the large man did not expect the edges to burn - Trafalgar Law was a capable man and knew how to fight. Knew how to survive. He could tell just by looking at him.
And then the day came. The paper announcing the alliance with the Straw Hat Crew had arrived not too many days before. Jean Bart was in the kitchen making dinner when he heard the shouts, screams with the only word he could make out being ‘card’. It was all he needed to hear to move out from the kitchen and approach the table that they crew surrounded, leaning over their heads to take a look at the paper.
Small wisps of smoke curled up from the edges of the paper, thick and gray and choking one man who had gotten his face too close. “It’s nothing to worry about.” Jean Bart assured them, though he wasn’t sure himself if that was the truth. Smoke like that usually led to burnt edges sooner rather than later, and he wasn’t sure what was going on with his captain and that other crew. But he laid the worry to rest, because they needed to trust in their captain.
“It’s burning!” The shout came not too long after - the same day. Jean Bart rushed from the kitchen then, his own worry gripping at his stomach as his eyes laid on the paper. The edges were black - burnt, with larger wisps of smoke rising to the ceiling. The scrap of paper was significantly smaller than it had been, and was still shrinking. Penguin was already out of his seat and moving to the control room. “We’ll go find him.”
But he was met with resistance in the form of Bepo, standing in his way with his arms crossed over his chest. The man tried to push past the bear, but the latter stood firm. The other men moved to help - to push the first mate out of the way because why was he doing this? Didn’t he want to save their captain? He was only allowing him to die by standing in their way! They stopped, however, when they noted the tear tracks in his white fur trailing down his face, and it was only then that they recalled the last words their captain spoke before leaving - his last order given to them, which were reiterated by Bepo in that moment with a shaky voice.
“We were ordered to stay.” No one could look the bear in the eye. Heads hung low, shoulders were stiff, and there was a thick tension in the room that was only broken when Bepo spoke once again. “Captain’s orders.”
Curses filled the room as each man, though they wanted to go and save their captain - the man they looked up to; admired - they knew Bepo was right. If they went after their captain, he would only berate them for going against his orders. It would be an insult to go against his authority in that way, and they knew it.
So through the day, for hours upon hours, the crew sat in silence around the burning piece of paper, crossing their fingers and praying for the first time in a long time that their captain would make it back to them alive and okay.