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Sanji raised an eyebrow as Zoro spoke. The name Ava seemed so familiar but he couldn't put a face to the name. "Strange, I remember telling you guys that I was leaving the crew to stay with Sky. And you keep bringing up Ava... but I don't know an Ava... and I've never been married. The only wedding that I've been to recently was yours and Owen's."
Owen glanced at Zoro and saw the signs and looked at Sanji's eyes. He was talking to them but he wasn't actually looking at them. His pupils looked nonexistent and almost white.
"We didn't leave yet," Zoro replied, "We've been waiting for you to come back. Luffy even has us out looking for you." He looked at the two women with Sanji and scowled, trying not to lose his cool. "And what about Ava?"
Lily frowned when Ava's name was mentioned, "Didn't he already tell you that he was done with the Straw Hats? Why would you go looking for him?"
"And who is Ava," Sky asked pretending not to know, "And what does she have to do when [i my] Sanji?"
Zoro's eye twitched and he turned to Owen when she came into sight. He didn't say anything for a moment before looking back at Sanji, "As far as we know, he never left the crew and Ava [I is] his wife and currently carrying his child."
Lily whispered something to Sky before making a slight motion behind her back signaling to the bandits to find Ava. "We really don't know what you're talking about. He told us you were okay with him leaving and we really don't know who this Ava woman is."
Zoro signed to Owen that something was off as Sanji's pupils were nonexistent. He also shifted slightly when he heard movement not far off and signed that one of them should go check it out. "He left one night and didn't come back. I don't know about you but that isn't telling us he's leaving the crew."
Owen had been making sure Ava was getting proper nutrients so that the baby and her would stay healthy despite everything that was happening. But on the third day when Sanji still wasn't back she was ready to look.
When they were out looking she and Zoro became separated and she couldn't help but laugh. "Every time... I swear i need to put a collar on my husband..." She turned into her hybrid form and listened for Zoro's voice and when she heard it she headed towards him.
Sanji heard a familiar voice and turned to see the green haired swordsman. "Mosshead? Hey, what are you doing here? Did you guys stop to restock?"
"You were," Sky let out a soft sigh, "We didn't want you to walk home with how tired your were so Lily and I brought you here." She continued to watch him before sitting up, "Why don't you just love in already?"
"Didn't come back?" The words echoed in Ava's head until she felt sick, [I Sanji I'm sorry for what I said. Please come back.]
A day had passed and still, there was no sign of Sanji. Luffy had once again instructed to leave him be too avoid making the situation worse. However, he was worried about his friend too and desperately wanted to look for him. No one knew what had happened between Sanji and Ava and no one would ask, they just knew it was bad.
The following day, Ava was up before the others, boring Sanji still hadn't returned. After moved a chair over to the railing and sat down, watching the shore, hoping to see him. [I Where are you?]
"Ava," Robin was the next to wake up and saw the brunette on the deck, "Any sign of him?"
"No." Ava turned to the older woman, "This is my fault. I basically ended things because I was so mad at him for thinking I cheated on him. Robin, I need him to come home. I have to apologize."
Three more days passed and still no sign of Sanji, at this point Luffy had decided it was time to go find him. They were discussing who would check what location when Ava walked in. The look of guilt was written all over her face, and only Robin knew why.
"He's still not back," Ava asked and she didn't need a verbal response to know the answer.
"Ava," Raea stood up, "Let's go for a walk and let the others search for him."
"It's okay," Nami smiled weakly, "We'll find him and bring him home."
"This isn't your fault," Zoro sighed then looked at Raea, "Would you mind taking Minny with you?"
"Sure." Raea picked up the child and walked over to Ava, "Let's go."
While out searching for Sanji, Zoro had become lost, even though he was with Owen. He's heard her calling for him and was making his way back to her when he spotted a familiar had of blond hair. It too him a moment before he heard Sanji's voice fooled by that if two unfamiliar women. "Yo! Eyebrows!"
Owen sighed softly and shook her head. "No, he wasn't in the boy's room either." She gave a soft smile. "Don't worry. I'm sure he'll turn up. He probably just wanted to give you some space after yesterday's arguement."
Sanji gave a soft smile before nodding. "Morning." He slowly sat up and stretched. "I don't remember coming over yesterday... I must have been pretty tired."
Ava woke up and realized she was in her room but couldn't remember how she got there. The last thing she remembered was Nami and Chopper talking to her on the bathhouse and a cup of tea. When she rolled over, a so she could feel was the cold, empty space next to her. [I Did I really end things with him?] At the memory of yesterday's argument, she started crying again. [I What was I thinking?] After a while she got up, got dressed, and made her way to the kitchen where she hoped he'd be, but he wasn't. "Owen, have you seen Sanji?"
Sky had been awake for a while and was watching Sanji asleep, reveling in the fact that he was now with her. She reached out and brushed hair from his face when he woke up. "Good morning."
The following morning Owen woke up with a bad feeling in her stomach. She crawled out of bed and checked on Minny and she sighed with relief when she realized she was fine. Then she walked over to Zoro and kissed his cheek softly before heading to the kitchen to see if Sanji was awake. She didn't smell food so on the way she peeked into Ava's room and then into the boys room as well. When she reached the kitchen and saw no sign of him her heart sank. "He never came back last night... Maybe he just needed time." Owen began making breakfast while worrying about Ava and Sanji.
Sanji woke up in a daze in a room that felt familiar to him... but didn't feel quite right for some reason. He knew it was Sky's room. He had slept there plenty of times before but still something just felt... off.
"I'm worried," Nami looked at Luffy, "Even if they need space, we can't leave Ava alone like this."
"Leave it alone Nami," Luffy replied.
"I can't! Whatever happened in there, the stress could hurt the baby."
"Then send Chopper. You'll only make it worse if you go."
Lily and Sky were returning from a walk when they crossed paths with a distraught looking Sanji. "Oh," Lily looked around, "Is everything alright?" She was trying to countoff as actually caring but what she really wanted was to make sure no one else was around.
"Is there anything we can do to help," Sky asked and internally grinned when there was no sight of Ava.
"Tell us what's wing." Lily waited until he was looking directly at her before her eyes turned into black and white swirls, "This will only take a moment and your won't remember anything about that wretched Avalon." When Sky was at hey side, she began hypnotizing him, "You don't know Avalon. You are currently dating Sky and you two are very happy together. This island is where you choose to leave the Straw Hat pirates to live out the remainder of your days with Sky. Do you understand?"
Sky waited until there was confirmation that the hypnosis worked before hugging Sanji. "Shall we go tell them that you're leaving," she asked as she looked up at him with a smile.
Nami stared Luffy down before turning away from him and making her way to the bathhouse. "Chopper isn't back yet and I'm not going to leave Ava alone like that. Owen, since Sanji left will you make some camomile tea for Ava?"
Sanji felt like his heart was being torn from his chest. [i Did I really misread that...] He watched as she stormed out of the room he assumed to the bathhouse but he didn't want to chase after her because it might lead to another fight and if she truly was pregnant... that could harm the baby.
He walked over to the ring and gently picked it up and put it in his pocket. "How many times am I going to make her cry..." He sighed softly cursing himself under his breath before walking out of the kitchen and ignoring the worried glances from the crew. "I'll be back... I need some fresh air."
"Sanji, it's dark... maybe you should rest." Nami suggested warily.
Sanji sighed. "I'll be back. I need fresh air." He repeated before hopping off the boat.
By this time Owen and Zoro had gotten back and Owen went to go after Sanji only to see Luffy put his arm in front of her. "They both need space right now. We can't interfere."
Owen frowned but nodded before wrapping her arms around Zoro's torso and sighed. "I hope everything will be alright..."
Once the item was wrapped, Ava paid the man and left, choosing to return to the ship. The return walk was uneventful but they familiar smell of cigarettes lingered on the return path. [I He must have gone back already.] By the time she returned [I home], Luffy was playing with Minny on the deck and Nami was watching. "You guys are back early."
"We just followed Sanni," Nami replied, "Something was bothering him. Didn't you tell him you were pregnant?"
"I," Ava paused, "You told him?!"
"We thought he knew," Nami sighed, "He's in the kitchen."
"I didn't want to jinx it," Ava looked at the wrapped gift, "Hide this in your room? I'll go talk to him." She didn't give the other women a chance to respond before handing the item over and going into the kitchen. The feeling she felt radiating off Sanji's caused her to frown, so she kept her distance, one hand on her stomach. "Sanji? I'm sorry I didn't tell you, I didn't want you to get mad. I just," she sighed, "after Graham, I didn't know how you'd react."
Nami did what Ava asked and put the wrapped item in her closet. By the time she returned from below deck she heard yelling in the kitchen. "What's going on in there?"
Luffy looked up from Minny towards the kitchen, "I don't know."
Nami sighed and went to check it out and instantly regretted it. The moment she stepped foot in the door, the arguing couple fell silent, "Uh, is everything okay in here?"
"Fine," Ava replied as she brushed hair from her face, "Everything is just fine."
Nami looked between the two and saw Sanji scowling at Ava, and Ava clearly fighting off whatever emotion was trying to take over. Her first instinct was to make sure Ava was okay because whatever they were arguing about couldn't be good for the baby. However, to avoid getting caught in the argument, she spent backed out if the kitchen.
Ava watched Nami leave before she started crying, "You're such an idiot!" Her gaze fell to the ring on her left hand and without thinking it through, she shakingly removed it. "You can move your stuff back into the boys dorm if you think I'm so [I unloyal]. I can't do this," she stated before placing the ring in the counter in front of him. She looked at Sanji one last time before leaving the room as quickly as possible and making her way to the one place she'd be left alone, the bathhouse.
Sanji's eyes widened. "W-What did you say? Wait... how can you be sure?" He looked down for a moment and thought back to the way Ava has been acting and the kind of stuff she had been snacking on. [i How could I not notice... and why didn't she tell me...] While lost in thought he heard a familiar voice cheering 'Yay!'. He was glad he could hear his wife because he needed to talk to her about the pregnancy but when he looked into the store through the window he saw his wife leaning over the counter peering at a man who's face was bright red. "Ava..." His heart sank but at the same time his blood felt like it was boiling.
"Sanji? Is everything okay?!"
Sanji shoved his hands in his pockets and continued to walk. "Yeah... it's fine."
Nami and Luffy looked at one another before trotting to catch up to Sanji. Luffy was holding Minny now.
"Sanji are you sure you're fine?"
Sanji nodded. "I'm going to go ahead though. I need to smoke and Zoro will kill me if I do it near Minny."
"Did you know that Ava was pregnant," Nami repeated, realizing that he had been distracted.
Ava had been wandering around for a while looking at different shops until she found one that dealt more in men than women. She went in hoping to find something for Sanji's birthday. After finding something she believed he would love, she went to make her purchase. Now, she was trying to convince the man at the register to gift wrap it. "Please? I don't want him to know about it?"
"Ma'am, as I've already told you, we don't offer gift wrap. The most I can do is place it in a bag," the man replied.
Ava leaned towards him, slightly over the counter, and pouted, "Please?"
"N-no." The man froze when she got closer and he could soon feel get breath on him, sending chills down his spine.
"I really can't risk him seeing," Ava whispered, "Pretty please won't you gift wrap it?"
"O-okay," he gave in.
As they walked Sanji pouted because Ava told him he couldn't shop with her today so he was stuck with Luffy and Nami who were babysitting Minny. As Nami started chatting away Sanji looked at the shops that passed and could have sworn he saw a flash of red and pink go by but shook it from his mind when Nami asked him a question. "Did I know? Did I know what?" He asked confused. He had been completely in his own little world wishing he could be spending time with Ava.
Ava smiled as she watched Minny eat her cake, "That should keep her out of trouble for a while." She removed her unused apron and placed it back in the kitchen closet where it belonged.
"Have you eaten yet," Nami asked as she eyed the brunette.
"Uh," Ava thought for a moment, "No but I'm not really hungry."
"You haven't been [I hungry] the last few months. What's up with you?"
"Nothing, I'm fine."
"Are you pregnant again?"
Ava shifted, "No," she said almost too quickly and hoped no one would see through her lie.
Nami raised a brow, "So Chopper does monthly checks on you just because?" She stood up and walked over to Ava and peered really close to her face while simultaneously putting a hand on either side of the woman's belly. "You're a terrible liar," she whispered.
Ava placed a hand over Nami's mouth, "Don't say another word."
Elsewhere on the island, Lily and Sky hatched a plan to get Ava out of the way so that Sky could have Sanji. Lily came across a group of bandits that she had convinced to dress as Marines, which that had no problem taking out, so they could [i arrest] Ava whens he came into town. "This should work," Lily muttered as she examined the group to make sure they appeared as Marines should.
"Are you sure," Sky asked, "Do you think she'll fight back?"
"I doubt it. We just need to catch her off guard."
"Yay! That means I'll get my Sanji!"
"Not exactly," Lily began pacing, "Once he realizes she is gone he is likely to go find her. They seemed relatively close when we saw them earlier."
"Hmph," Sky crossed her arms and pouted, "What makes her so special?"
"Who cares," Lily replied, "I'll just do to Sanji what I did to Adachi, only this time, I'll wipe her from his memory."
Nami and Luffy had kept their promise and were walking around town with Minny and Sanji. "Hey Sanji," Nami began, "Have you noticed anything strange about Ava lately?"
Luffy started laughing at Nami's question, "You mean that she's pregnant?"
"What? He should know."
"But it isn't up to you to tell him!"
"He should know already."
Nami blinked, realizing Luffy had a point, "Wait, did you know?"
Once Minny was in her highchair she was still bouncing in place staring at the cake so hard as if it may fly off the plate, as Sanji brought it over to her. It was nothing fancy but cake was cake. As soon as she plate was put down Minny was about to grab fistfulls and shove them into her mouth until she dismembered what mommy said to say. "Fank ooo!"
Sanji chuckled before nodding. "You're welcome."
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