When he said her name it sent chills down her spine. But what he said next made her spin around. "H-How did you?" She looked down for a brief moment and shook her head. "I do though. Zoro I can't commit myself to a crew. Because I have to be able to go back home. My gran is sick. The truth is... I do odd jobs here and there, collect small bounties for easy criminals. I'm trying to get money to be able to afford her treatments..." She scratched the back of her head. "So as much fun as I've had on this ship. It can't be forever. But at least I'll be able to tell her stories of you guys." She felt something wet on her face and quickly brought her hand to her face and wiped away the tears. "A-Ah, the sun is really bright today. I'm going to head back." She gave a half wave before running back to the ship.
"You don't know that." Zoro was about to argue more until she said his name, causing him to fall silent. Though he expected her to say something else, it was silent, until she said she was going back to the ship. He saw the look on her face as she walked by, something was bothering her. "Alyce," he didn't move, "You don't have to be alone."
Alyce turned around and shook her head. "That's not something you can control. That wasn't anyone's fault except mine for losing my footing." She looked down for a moment and sighed. "Zoro... I..." She gently shook her head. "Forget about it. I'm going to head back. I've had enough exercise with this leg for today." She walked past the swordsman towards the ship in just her bikini top and shorts. [i I can't rely on them. I'll have to leave one day...]
Zoro tried to keep a straight face at what he assumed was supposed to be an insult but it came out as a compliment. The corner of his mouth twitched upwards a little. "Shirts get in the way," he shrugged. When she brought up how she knew it was a pain to look after her while she healed he frowned. "It was a pain because I couldn't always help you. Like the day Luffy watched you and you fell off the ship. That wouldn't have happened if I'd been there."
"Don't call me stupid Grumps!" Alyce had her hands on her hips. "I WAS WEARING RED! That irritates bulls or some shit! Look they stopped chasing us!" When he brought up when she flashed the men at the pub she sighed. "They kept calling me a he! It was pissing me off! Why are you yelling at me for this crap when you rarely wear a shirt yourself! Always showing off your chiseled body!" After the words left her mouth her face turned red as she turned around so her back was facing him. "We-Well regardless... they aren't following us. So if you're here to just scold me don't bother. I know it was a pain to have to look after me that month. I'll be out of your hair soon enough anyways." She muttered the last part before taking her hair down and fixing it into her usual pig tails.
"I don't believe it," Zoro groaned, "You really are a stupid as Luffy." When she fell he slowed his pace to help her up but it was soon obvious it wasn't needed. The moment she removed her shirt he stopped running, "What is wrong with you? Did your grandma teach you to strip to stop animals from following you? Come to think of it, didn't you flash a pub full of people too? Is that a habit of yours?"
"Oh, hey Grumps." Alyce responded calmly but then saw the bulls were still following her. "I just found a farm and jumped the fence to pet some baby pigs. Apparently the bulls didn't approve of that and now I don't know how to shake them off! I don't want to kill them!" She then got a charley horse in her leg causing her to stumble slightly but she regained her footing and kept running. "Why are they still chasing me?!" But then she noticed it. The shirt she was wearing was red. Without hesitation she pulled off her shirt and tossed it in the opposite direction. To her surprise the bulls actually went after the shirt. They sniffed it before grabbing it and heading back in the direction they came.
"Oh my god I cant believe that worked."
Zoro had lost track of Alyce not long after they arrived on the island. He wandered around trying to find her until he heard her yelling at someone to stop following her. Out of instinct he ran towards the sound of the yell and looked around. When he spotted her, he hadn't yet seen the three bulls chasing her.
When she ran by him, he turned to follow her with his gaze, a small smile on his face. However it was when he felt the ground moving below his feet, that he finally turned to see what she was running from. "What the hell did you do?!" He ran after her, easily matching her pace, "Why are they chasing you?"
Alyce walked on the outskirts of town loving the breeze and the view. "This islands not bad." She kept walking further into the outskirts when she came across a small farm. She hopped over the fence and grinned when she saw the baby pigs. "Aww! Piggies!" She ran over and started to pet one when she felt something breathing down her back. "Hmm?" She turned her head just to have a bull snort in her face. She slowly backed up but when she saw him digging the dirt her face turned pale. "O-Oh no." She spun on her heels in a dead sprint for the fence. "I just need to get over the fence and I'll be fine, he'll stop at the fence." She jumped the fence once more but when she slowed herself down and looked behind her she saw the bull plow through the fence. She yeeped before making a mad dash once again. "STOP FOLLOWING ME! GAH!" She kept running and pushing her limited but kept getting cramps in her recently healed leg. "Not now!" She glanced behind her and noticed it wasn't just one following her but three bulls. "DID YOU MULTIPLY!?"
"Because you don't have to be alone," Robin replied as Alyce left the room. She didn't move after that, just looked at the doorway, curious if Alyce would stay if Luffy offered.
"Do you want someone to follow her," Zoro asked. "She should be fine on her own but with her leg only recently healing." He didn't know why he was offering, it was obvious Alyce wanted to be alone. However, he had a sinking suspicion that something was going to go wrong if she remained on her own.
Alyce listened as Robin spoke and turned around and laughed nervously. "Why are you telling me this Robin, that's so weird. I'm sure he'd love to get back to doing his own thing and not having to look after me. B-But it doesn't bother me or anything. Besides I'm used to being alone anyways. Before I met you guys I was traveling alone anyways. And eventually I'll have to travel alone again." She scratched the back of her head before putting on her hat. "But I'm fine, if you're worried about me. Don't worry." She headed out of the room and saw the island coming into view. She helped out with docking the ship then with a small wave she went on her way to explore the island.
Nami sighed as she folded her arms over her chest. "I wonder if she'll be okay going alone..."
"He doesn't mean it," Robin said as she entered the girls room to see Alyce getting ready. "You've spent more than a month with him as your constant companion. Its obvious that you'll miss each other's company." She sat down on the bed, crossing one leg over the other, eyes on Alyce. "His nickname for you, Freckles, its not common for him to give them out. He cares about you."
Alyce waved her arms between the two and chuckled. "It's fine. I actually wanted to walk around by myself. It's been awhile since I've had alone time." She smiled softly but there was a hint of sadness in her smile. When she heard Zoro say the buddy system was a pain.
Alyce headed back to the girls room to grab a few of her things before she had to help get the boat ready to dock. "Mmm I wonder what I should do on the island."
"Don't call me Grumpy," Zoro retorted with a laugh seeing how the nickname he gave her wound her up. His brow twitched when he heard Sanji ask if Alyce would go walking around with him. "Oi, Eyebrows, if she ends up back in a cast I'm going to kick your ass. The buddy system was a pain."
"Yeah," Nami smirked, "Thats why you looked a little sad when she said you didn't have to use the buddy system anymore."
Alyce nodded with a smile. "Yeah, lucky for you you don't have to babysit me anymore." She chuckled softly and looked down for a brief moment feeling the small pinch in her chest again. But when she heard him call her freckles again she puffed out her cheeks and her head shot up again. "DON'T CALL ME FRECKLES!"
Sanji heard Alyce yelling and peeked his head out of the kitchen and noticed her cast was gone. "Alyce, your leg's finally healed? Would you like to go on a stroll with me through town?"
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