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[I I want to know what they did to you,] Ava thought before nodding and planning the ring back on her finger, "Always." When he apologized for accusing her of cheating, she slapped him. "I still can't believe you'd think I'd cheat on you!" She thought about telling at him some more but couldn't bring herself to do it. "I lost my ability to swim. Lily spent hours making sure I knew that you didn't remember me and the only way she would let me go is if I ate a devil fruit. She never told me what it does but I know I turn into Sakura blossoms."
Once they got below deck Sanji felt her cling to him and he wrapped his arms around her carefully. "I know hun... I only got off the ship to get some air... I went for a walk and I don't remember what happened after that... It's all a blur. Baby, I lost you once. I'll be damned if I let it happen again." He reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring before pulling away from her slightly. "Still my one and only? I'm sorry I was an idiot and accused you of cheating..." He kissed her forehead softly.
"Considering what happened," Ava replied as they walked, lea none into him a bit, "Talking is definitely what we need." She didn't think to look back to check on Raea because she knew the situation was under control. After a while they had made it back to the Sunny, "We'll have more privacy if we talk in our room." She led him down to their room and closed the door behind her beforr turning to him, one hand in her belly.
She was silent for a bit before wrapping her arms around him and burying her face in his chest. As she clung to him she finally spoke, "I'm sorry for what I said. I'm sorry I said I couldn't do it anymore." She was afraid that him remembering hey was a lie and he would push her away at any moment, so she held on as tight as she could. "But I can't do this without you."
Usopp looked up from playing with Minny when he saw Ava and Sanji board the ship. He watched as they went below deck then looked at Cydi, "Didn't Zoro say that Sanji couldn't remember Ava?"
"Yeah probably," Cydi watched the door close, "But even if he was under mind control, his h heart is loyal to her soo he wouldn't be able to forget her completely."
Sanji was so confused. "Remember?" He held his head as he slowly stood up. "Yeah... My head is pounding." He wrapped his arm around Ava following her lead back to the ship. "Can we talk when we get back to the ship?"
Raea rushed out when Sanji kicked Lily, and she placed herself between the couple and the two women struggling to stand up, hammer out. "Sheesh, never thought you'd hurt a woman."
Ava felt Lily release her and her eyes went wide at what Sanji did. When he looked at her and said baby, her heart began to race. "Y-you remember?"
"No!" Lily realized get hypnosis had warn off and though she could barely move she wasn't going to give up. "You can't do this! I've done everything to make sure this wouldn't happen!"
"I'd stop moving if I were you," Raea hissed, "I've seen the damage that comes from one of those kicks." She shifted her hammer, ready to strike if Lily made a move, but she also made sure to keep an eye on Sky's slumped form behind Lily. "Sanji, why don't you and Ava head back to the Sunny?"
Something in Sanji snapped when he saw Lily grab Ava's wrist. He walked over to the two ignoring Sky and grabbed Lily's wrist hard enough to make her let go of Ava. "Knock it off Lily."
Lily staggered back slightly and frowned as she narrowed her eyes at Ava.
Sanji's attention was taken for a moment when he heard Sky. "Sanji, how could you do this to me! After everything we've been through!" She began to cry crocodile tears and Sanji sighed.
He took one step towards Sky then saw Lily lunge for Ava. In one swift movement he jumped backwards and spun his leg into Lily's torso causing her to fly back and hit Sky. And the momentum that he hit Lily with caused the hypnosis to fade and he groaned from the pain in his head. "Gack!" He held his head in his hands trying to wait for the throbbing pain to go away.
Once his vision cleared he saw Ava. "Baby?"
And didn't fight back when Sanji kissed her, the sensation causing whatever pain she was feeling to go away. When he asked why he had her ring she looked away, "There was a misunderstanding and we fought and I wasn't thinking straight and told you I couldn't do it anymore. I thought you were mad I didn't tell you I was pregnant but you were actually mad because you thought I was cheating."
She wanted to hug him, breathe in his scent and tell herself that it would ask be okay, but it wasn't. He didn't fully remember her and for all she knew, he probably never would. She began to fiddle with the hem of her sweater again before looking back at him, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
Raea was on her way back from picking up a few parts when she came across Ava and Sanji. [I I thought Zoro said he didn't remember her.] She watched the exchange for a bit only to see a flash of red and pink out of the corner of her eye, approaching the couple. "Hm?"
"Sanji!" Sky cried out when she saw Sanji and Ava, "I've been looking for you everywhere." She glared at Ava, seeing the vulnerable state she was in, "You! You have some nerve!*
"Easy Sky," Lily whispered, "I'll deal with Ava, you take Sanji home."
"Stay away from me," Ava snapped as she took a few steps away from Sanji, which out more space between her and Lily.
"Don't you think you've found enough damage," Lily replied as she stepped closer, "What entitles you to someone else's happiness?" She finally got close enough to grab hold of Ava's wrist, tightly. "Why can't you just let Skylar be happy?!"
When Ava stated the name of the baby they lost the pain shot in his head again and when he saw her dash off he didn't have to wait for Nami to speak he practically tripped over the chair chasing after her.
For a pregnant woman she ran rather fast he finally caught up to her and gently grabbed her wrist. "A-Ava wait!" He tried to slow her. "Right now... I'm so confused. But if these are memories... I don't know what happened to me... But those dreams felt real... and right... When I first looked at you today... Everything else faded... Like you were the only one. The feeling felt familiar... S-Sorry if this is pushing it." He pulled her closer and pressed his lips against hers and suddenly the memory of their first kiss came back. Along with the memory of their wedding. "I-If you're really my wife... why do I have your ring?" He whispered softly as he pulled away from the kiss.
"Sanji, those were memories." Nami watched Ava start to withdraw from the conversation at the details of the dream. "Can we see the ring?"
Ava bit her lip and started fiddling with the hem of her sweater. When she heard Nami she looked up again, various emotions flashing across her face. "The kiss in the shop, that was our first kiss. I had asked you to kiss me because I was being followed." She recalled Graham's death, "The miscarriage, his name was Graham and we lost him because...because..." She couldn't get the words out and instead got up from the table and ran off in tears.
Nami watched Ava go but didn't move, "Go after her. If you have any hope of remembering, go after hey."
Sanji's face turned red once again when the woman asked him what he dreamt about. "Please don't think I'm a creep. But the last four nights... You've been in my dreams. The first night it was just us kissing in what looked like a food shop. The second night it was us mourning. The third night... We-We got married... and the fourth night... was the engagement." He ran his fingers through his hair nervously. "The weirdest part though... Is this morning I woke up and the ring I proposed with... was in my jacket... And I know I didn't buy that anytime recently... Because..." He trailed off. [i I can't see myself marrying Sky...] He shook his head and sighed softly. "A-Anyways I'm sorry I ran into you... Especially if you're pregnant. If I hadn't caught you... Gosh... I couldn't bear to lose another child." He had his head in his hands when he realized what he said. "S-Sorry... the dream felt so real..."
Ava frowned when Sanji groaned in pain and staggered, almost wanting to reach out to him. "Are you okay?" They made their way to a table and sat down, with Nami quickly ordering for all three. "If you don't mind me asking, what exactly did you dream about?"
"Ava," Nami scolded, "I'm more concerned about you turning into flower petals than what Sanji dreamed about."
"I are a devil fruit," Ava shrugged, "and yes, the baby is fine."
When the brunette stated her name a sharp pain came to his head. "Urgh." He staggered slightly. He shook his head then put his hand in his pocket and felt the ring. [i Zoro said she was my wife... and... now she's here... But I don't remember dating her... but those dreams...] He was lost in thought for a moment but then he heard Nami's invitation and he nodded with a small smile. "Yes, that would be wonderful. Thank you."
"W-what," Ava straightened herself up and shook her head, "It's alright. I used to be a dancer so I've heard it before." With knowing that he didn't remember her, she had to lie and it gutted her. She took the water from Nami and sipped at it until she felt better, but she couldn't bring herself to look away from Sanji's.
"Ava," Nami noticed the woman start to dissipate into blossoms, "Ava!"
"Huh?". When Ava no longer felt Sanji's hand on her back, or anything in general she looked down, "Oh." A moment later she was back to normal, "I'm Ava, nice to meet you."
"Why don't you join us for lunch," Nami offered, "It's been a while."
After the run in with Zoro and Owen something hadn't been sitting right with him. Sky tried to reassure him that there was no Ava and that they were just trying to get him to go back to the crew by confusing him. She would say she loved him but he could never say it back. At most he could say 'Me too.'
He slept in Sky's bed with her every night... and each night he dreamt of a different woman. A woman with brown hair and piercing blue eyes. The first night was a dream of her kissing him spontaneously in a shop.
The second night's dream woke him up in a cold sweat because the woman had blood all over her and was mourning. They had lost a child.
He had trouble sleeping the third night. But when he fell asleep he and the brunette were at a wedding. Their wedding. He watched as the brunette walked down the aisle and his vision started to blur due to the tears. When he woke up those same tears were on his cheeks. [i What the hell is going on...] He thought to himself.
The fourth night he ignored Sky's kissing his cheek saying he was tired and promptly fell asleep and yet again. It was of the same woman. But this time it looked like they were at a wedding again. The wedding was familiar but it wasn't the same wedding he had in the dream the night before. He watched as the brunette caught the bouquet of the bride. Her blue dress bringing out her eyes even more then her smile could melt his heart. And he saw him getting lower looking up at her with a ring in his hand. The woman started crying and hugged him. Sanji woke up again and saw Sky asleep beside him. [i I need fresh air... this is too weird... who is the woman in my dreams... it's the same woman...] He carefully got out of bed and pulled on his jacket before sneaking out of the house so Sky wouldn't wake up. He got outside and sighed softly he went to pull a cigarette out of his pocket since he was alone now. Sky always yelled at him when he smoked.
But when he reached in his pocket he felt something else. He pulled it out and his eyes widened. "T-The ring... what the hell is going on..." He muttered softly before carefully putting the ring back into his pocket. He went to grab a cigarette when he turned a corner and felt himself bump into someone small. He carefully caught the woman. But before he could look at who he bumped into he heard a familiar voice. "Nami?" He looked up then when he looked down when the woman he caught spoke his eyes widened and everything else faded as he only looked at the woman. "W-Wow... wait... you-you're her!" He realized he was still holding her and let go. "A-Ah sorry... just I've seen you in my dreams... Err wait... sorry that sounds weird. I mean... uh.." His face was turning bright red at the realization of how creepy he sounded.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Zoro looked at Owen again, "I'm going to go find Raea and Minny. Try to talk some sense into him." It was either he go find them or he was going to beat up Sanji's for forgetting about Ava. After two, nearly three years of knowing the Devil's Damned, he and Ava had developed a brother sister relationship and knowing that she was hurting because of Sanji, pissed him off.
The bandits began their search for Ava and within no time, found her knelt down by a sapling. It looked like she was either examining it or talking to it, either way, she started to be alone. After double checking the area, only knocked her out and another picked her up, carrying her bridal style. "Do we take her back to the house," he asked.
"Lily never specified so I assume so," one replied.
Zoro had found Raea shortly after Ava had been taken and looked around. "Before I explain about Eyebrows, where is Ava?"
"She's right," Raea turned around to see Ava wasn't there, "Oh no."
"I'll take Minny and head back to the Sunny, you go find the others. Owen and I found Eyebrows but something was off and he said he left the crew. He doesn't remember Ava."
Raea handed Minny over, "I'll also look for Ava while I'm at it."
Some time later, Ava woke up from water being thrown on her. "What the hell?!"
"Oh good," Lily chuckled, "you're awake. Now, since you're pregnant I can't really hurt to physically but I do have news for you."
"Why am I not surprised you're behind this," Ava replied as she wiped water from her face.
"It's regarding that man of yours, Sanji," Lily smirked, "He doesn't know who you are and he doesn't care. He is now with Sky."
"That's why he didn't come home," Ava muttered. "What did you do?"
"Wiped you from his memory and convinced him to leave the Straw Hats to live his life with Sky. You are nothing to him now and that baby you're carrying, he couldn't care less about it."
The day continued with Lily telling Ava things she didn't want to know up until it seemed like it no longer fazed her. At that point she pulled out a small chest and sat it on the table. "I'll let you go as soon as you eat what is in this box."
"There is something wrong with you." Ava did as she was told however and the moment the fruit touched her tongue she knew she had eaten a devil fruit.
Lily watched as Ava started gagging and just stood by until she was finished. "Sky wanted to eat that fruit but I figured, why not get her to hate you too. I got her Sanji's to spite you, now you have the fruit she wanted. But you're free to go." She opened the door and led her out to the main road before leaving her on her own.
Ava managed to get back to the ship before sunrise but it was obvious the crew knew she was gone. The moment she stepped foot on the Sunny, Chopper and Nami were checking to make sure she was okay. "Guys, I'm fine, just got a little lost."
"You need to rest though," Chopper pointed out as he led Ava to her room.
"Only until breakfast," Ava replied before closing the door on the two and looking at the room. [I Have you really forgotten me?]
A few days later, though Ava was still bothered by the news of Sanji forgetting her, she obliged Nami by going shopping with her. To the redhead's dismay, she donned her favorite oversized pink sweater and a pair of shorts. "You wanted me other but I get to wear what I want, and that includes this sweater."
"But it's hot out," Nami pointed out.
"And that's why I'm also wearing a tank top underneath."
Even though Nami felt like arguing, she know Ava wouldn't budge and the two women left the ship. They visited a variety of stores and took a break only to have lunch at a local cafe. On their way to an outside table, Ava bumped into someone and, if they hadn't caught her, she would have fallen. "Oh! Ava are you o," Nami feel silent when she saw who they ran into, "Sanji?"
Ava stared at the blind man in front of her, the one that Lily had said, forgot her. [I Sanji?] Looking at him caused her heart the ache and on the next moment she felt like she was going to throw up, "Thank your, I'm fine."
"You look like you're going to be sick," Nami sighed better grabbing a glass of water from a nearby table.
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