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?"
"So your cast is gone." Zoro was coming down from the crows nest when he saw the others celebrating. He frowned, his forehead creasing even more than usual. [i No more buddy system.] He didn't know why it bothered him but he was going to do his best to ignore it. "Congrats Freckles."
"How soon," Luffy asked with an excited grin.
"An hour or so if the wind remains in our favor," Nami replied.
"Mmm I could go for a tangerine not super hungry but a snack would be nice." Alyce smiled. "And I'll call you grumps as long as you stay a grumpass." She opened one of the books and started reading ignoring the green haired man hoping he would walk away because for some reason her heart was beating quite fast.
A few more days had passed and Chopper was examining Alyce's leg. After passing examination he gave her the okay to start training again. "Yes!!" She cheered happily as she could finally walk on her own again. "No more buddy system!" At the words leaving her mount she felt her heart sink a bit but ignored the feeling and headed back out on deck.
"Alyce your cast is gone!" Luffy pointed out.
Alyce grinned. "All healed!"
Luffy cheered and jumped around goofily with her.
"Luffy careful, you don't want to hurt her leg again." Nami sighed. "Perfect timing though, we have an island coming up soon."
Alyce grinned and stretched. "Ah, I can't wait to explore."
"Then stop calling me Grumps," Zoro replied. He noticed the slight flush on her cheeks but didn't point it out. [i Kinda cute.] He followed what she said and placed her in the lawn chair. "I'm going to see if Eyebrows has anything left from breakfast, you want anything?"
Robin looked at the pair from over her book, intrigued by what was going on. Zoro didn't seem as harsh as normal, and it looked like he and Alyce were bonding. She chuckled a little at the nicknames and how they seemed to feed off each other. [i He seems almost, happy.]
When Zoro agreed to carrying her she was caught offguard by the bridal style but what caught her even more offguard was the teasing nickname. When she heard him call her freckles her cheeks flushed pink slightly. "D-Don't call me Freckles!" She looked away from him and saw an open lawn chair and pointed to it. "There is fine."
Zoro looked at the stack of books she grabbed and wasn't surprised by the following request. Since she'd have to hold onto the books, he was left carrying her bridal style. Once he had her in his arms, he chuckled at her reminder of kicking his ass.."Whatever your say [I Freckles]." When they reached the main deck he looked around, "Where do you want to go?"
Alyce thought for a moment then grinned. "Mmm no not really I just wanted to see what other books you had. Since I already finished reading the log book." She carefully stood up and leaned against the table. Once she steadied herself a bit she grabbed onto Zoro to move a bit. "Mmm..." She hopped along looking at the books. She grabbed a few that looked interesting then looked back to the swordsman. "Can you carry me up to the main deck? It looked really nice out today I can lay out and read today." She smiled. When she caught what he said about the training she smiled with a small nod. "Sure, don't be grumpy when I kick your ass like I promised." She stuck out her tongue.
Zoro shrugged off the teased insult with a small smile. He listened to her talk about her leg and the fried almost instantly returned. "If you want help getting strength back in it, let me know. But it's good it doesn't hurt anymore." He looked around the room at the various books before sighing. "Is there a specific book you want?"
Alyce chuckled. "Then your personality could use some lightening up. You're gonna get wrinkles if you keep scowling all the time." She teased before looking up at him when he asked about her leg. "Hmm... it's okay... I can't wait until I can start training again though... I feel like this leg is going to be so weak because I've had to baby it." She stretched leaning back in the chair and sighed softly. "But it's not sore anymore. So that's a good sign right?"
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