"Huh? I said you're my friend so just accept the help." Zoro let our an internal sigh of relief when she asked what he said. [I Do she didn't catch it?] In hopes to change the topic he gestured to the crows nest. "You can use the weights if you want to strengthen your leg back up. I'll be down here if you want to talk."
When Zoro started yelling back at her she was about to give it right back to him until she heard him say the words 'I like you'. Her eyes widened as she looked up at him. "W-What did you say?" She wanted to make sure she heard him correctly before she embarrassed herself any further from misunderstanding.
"You really think I'm offering to help you out if pity?! You're a friend. You need help. I'm offering to help you because I like you. So just accept it and stop complaining!" The words hadn't even registered with Zoro when they first came out. It actually took several minutes before what he said sunk in. [I Maybe she won't catch it?]
Alyce puffed out her cheeks. "Dense?! How am I dense?! Why do you have to be so rude about everything!" When he said he would talk to Luffy she sighed and felt guilt run through her body. [i Would Luffy really be okay with this...] She sighed softly.
"You think I'm doing this out of pity?" Zoro clicked his tongue, "You really are dense." He listened to her concern about the crew, and, though it was valid, he knew they could handle themselves. That's what they trained two years for, to get stronger. "They can handle themselves. Now so making excuses. I'll talk to Luffy about it in the morning."
Alyce frowned. "Look Grumps, you don't need to feel obligated to help me anymore... If you're doing this out of pity I don't want it." [i What am I saying? Why am I saying it like this... What is wrong with my emotions...] "Besides, what if something happens if you were gone, and someone gets hurt but you could have been there to help... You all have been so kind I can't take advantage of your kindness by splitting up the crew."
"It's not up to you if i go or not." Zoro brushed off her refusal of his offer and crossed his arms. "You'll be able to take on higher bounties if I help you. Which means more money to help your grandmother." He stood up after that and walked away, doing another patrol around the ship. When he returned, he just stared down at her. [I Take the help stubborn woman.]
Alyce's eyes widened at the offer as she looked up at him. "I-I can't do that... You're an important part of this crew. Zoro I can't let you do that. I'm sorry. I have a lot on my chest... I shouldn't have blurted that out." She frowned and looked down. [i With him by my side... I could easily get the money for her medicine especially with his strength...] She quickly shook her head of the idea. [i I can't use someone like that. That's not right...]
Zoro leaned against the railing as he listened to Alyce talk. The whole situation clearly had her in an internal struggle on what to do. After a few minutes in silence, and hearing her cry, he sat down next to her. "So, I'll help you collect a few bounties. If its to help out a friend, I don't think Luffy would mind if I leave for a bit."
He wanted to help her, and if it meant temporarily becoming a bounty hunger again, he'd do it.
After she finished eating Alyce sat in silence and everything came back to her thoughts about her gran and her eyes widened and tears rolled down her cheeks. She went back out on deck and saw Zoro. She walked over and sat beside him. "Zoro. I know I may have been a pain... but because you were with me all the time for a month so I feel the closest to you... We both know the sun didn't make me cry..." She pulled her knees to her chest and sighed. "I just don't know what to do...the price of the medicine keeps going up... and what I used to be able to afford with the bounties I got... I have to do three bounties at that price to afford... I just... I don't know what to do anymore. I hate being away for this long. But I don't have the money to afford the treatment yet. Sorry I know I shouldn't be whining to you about this but I have no one else to talk to..." She had tears rolling down her cheeks again as she looked down at her feet.
Zoro frowned at her response but didn't push it further. If she didn't want to talk, he wasn't going to make her. After she disappeared into the kitchen, he proceeded with his rounds on checking the ship. As usual, it was quiet and there weren't any looming threats. "Well this is boring."
Alyce nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard Zoro's voice and she sighed. "Well hello to you too." When he asked about why she was crying she scratched the back of her head. "Sun was in my eyes... I'm hungry." She headed up to the kitchen and hoped to avoid talking about the situation any further. She hadn't meant to burst about her problems to him earlier and she hoped he would allow her to leave it at that. She found some leftovers from dinner with her name on them and smiled. [i They set some aside for me...] She thought before heating up the food and sitting at the counter to eat.
Zoro had spent the day trying to figure out how to help Alyce so that she wouldn't have to be alone again. So that she wouldn't end up having to spend the rest of her life owing money she borrowed, if thats what ended up happening. Every idea that came to mind still ended the same way, with her leaving. He couldn't talk to anyone on the crew about it because it wasn't really his business in the first place.
"I'll just talk to her later."
When later came, he couldn't find her, only to be told by Nami that she was sleeping. She even slept through dinner. [i Did she burn through too much stamina earlier?] He hadn't known her prior to her injury so he didn't really know how much stamina she had.
That night, he was on watch though, so part of him hoped that she would wake up. When he heard the door to the lower deck open, and saw who emerged, he was surprised to see that it was her. "You want to tell me why you were crying earlier?"
Once Alyce got back to the ship Sanji had gotten back not long before. He noticed her red cheeks and her red eyes. "Miss Alyce, is everything alright?" When he noticed her wipe her face rather fast he grew curious.
"I'm fine, Sanji. Just the sun is bright is all. I'm going to go rest." She pointed towards the girls room then rushed there and instantly flopped on the bed as the door closed behind her. [i I don't want to leave... but what choice do I have..."
Without realizing it Alyce had fallen asleep lost in her worries. When people tried to wake her up for dinner she wouldn't budge.
When she finally woke up it was dark out and Nami and Robin were asleep. She carefully climbed out of the bed before heading out of the room to get some leftovers for food. "I wonder if I could get some training done tonight... If I tire myself out some more I could fall asleep again..."
Zoro remained quiet as he listened to Alyce's explanation. It was clear how much hey grandmother meant to her if she was willing to continue living the way she was. He knew what it was like to travel alone. To do off jobs. He was that way too before he met Luffy. They wouldn't admit it, but he knew that before Luffy, they were all alone in some way or another.
[I Alyce....] He saw the tears, and sighed at her lame excuse to get away. [I If she borrows from Nami she'll be paying for it the rest of her life.]
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