Title: The Many Loves of...
One Piece: Not mine.
Summary: A tragic and bittersweet tale of love lost and love gained.
Later, the feeling of silk pouring through his fingers and the tears on his face were what Bon Clay remembered most from that night.
“Oh, my love, I don’t want to leave you. I have to. The Navy is after me, and I couldn’t possibly put you in that much danger. I’m sorry.”
His beloved said nothing, but seemed to radiate pain and confusion. Damn, he’d hoped this would be easier. He’d lost so much. His crew, his freedom, his friends—what was this one tiny thing more?
The straw that broke the camel’s back, apparently. He managed one last kiss and fled, sobbing. He’d never find another love like that one, if he searched all the Blues for all his life, and he was walking—no, running, running on his long powerful legs as fast as he could—away. Curse those Marines! Curse that Hina! He’d get vengeance! Vengeance, the Okama Way!
In the hotel room, a brilliantly patterned pink-and-yellow monstrosity of a shirt slid slowly, agonizingly down the chair it had been on to land in a puddle of rejection on the floor. Abandoned again in a frantic flight from an enemy—first Sanji, now Bon Clay. Why? Why could no one love it for what it was, see past appearances to feel the soft, fine weave of its fabric, the glorious stitching? Why were those few who saw past the eye-searing warp of its pattern always torn from it? WHY?
Tashigi stuck her head into the room. Damn. Empty. Someone had warned the criminal and given him time to flee. The escape of Mr. 2 from prison was an embarrassment to the entire Navy, and Hina had called for backup when she thought she’d had him cornered here on Jaya. “Hina angry, not dumb,” she’d said.
Well, she’d apparently not been bright enough to keep Bon Clay from catching wind of what was up. The chances of them apprehending him now were nil thanks to the way Bon Clay could disguise himself. Unless they lined up every man, woman, and child on the island and checked for duplicates, he was scot-free.
A bright patch of color on the floor next to the sole chair in the room caught Tashigi’s eye, and (after a furtive glance down the hallway) she stepped into the room to investigate.
“Who would leave such a lovely shirt behind?”