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Once Izi was sure that Usopp had Marco's full attention she turned and followed the woman inside. Once both were seated at the kitchen table she decided to ask what was wrong. "Your son said you were sad, but that's not entirely true, is it? You're sick."
"I am," the woman nodded, "Have been for some time. My illness is why Marco's father left. He couldn't handle having a sick wife. So I've been raising Marco the best i can."
"Why haven't you sought out a doctor?"
"I have but with the island be so remote, we can't get the medicine to treat it."
"What do you have?"
"Anemia. I've followed the doctor's orders and done what I can just to get through the day but," she sighed, "I feel like I'm holding Marco back from enjoying his life. He so young and wants to make sure I'm okay so he doesn't go out and play with the other children as much."
"And that's why you're sad," Izi sighed.
"We have a doctor on our ship. He may be able to give you something to at least start getting you better. But that's only a short term solution. There are several ways to boost your iron to alleviate your anemia. Enough so that you aren't struggling."
"I couldn't ask that if you."
"Nonsense," Izi dismissed the objection, "I wasn't raised to not help someone in need. Usopp and I have a few errands to run but we'll be back tomorrow with our ship's doctor so he can have a look at you. In the meantime, drink some pomegranate juice."
"Pomegranate juice," the woman blinked.
"Yes." Izi stood up and looked to the door, "We should be going now." When she walked back outside she picked up on the end of Usopp's sorry and smiled.
"The was awesome," Marco said as he stared at Usopp in awe. "I want to go on adventures like you some day!"
Usopp grinned. "Well Marco, you mentioned earlier that you heard about fairies in story books, well how about I tell you some tales of the grand adventures I've been on, all completely true!"
Marco's eyes lit up with curiosity. "You mean you've been on adventures?"
"Plenty of them! Which tale would you like to hear about Captain Usopp first? The time my crew and I rode our ship into the sky with the help of a mighty geyser? Or maybe the time when my crew and I took down a huge--"
"You mean your ship can fly?!"
Usopp grinned at the interest the boy took in his adventures of Skypeia. "Alright, time to tell you the tale of a beautiful island hidden within the clouds. Full of villages and different people, who have wings!"
"Uh sure. Yup that's totally what it was." Izi didn't have the heart to remind him that walking in on an argument wouldn't make someone wish they were blind.
"I'm Marco," the boy said as he walked over to Usopp.
"Marco," Izi repeated, "That's a nice name. I'm Izi." She walked over to the mother and have a soft smile, "Why don't we talk for a bit? Usopp will keep Marco busy."
"Oh I couldn't," the mother protested.
"It's okay," Izi said in a hushed whisper, "I can tell you're tired. We can sit and you can tell me what's wrong. Maybe I can help."
"I," the woman looked at Marco who seemed distracted by Usopp, "Very well.
Usopp raised an eyebrow at her response. "Walking in on Nami and Zoro? Were they arguing or something?" He turned his attention back to the woman noticing how tired she looked but she still used what energy she had to spend time with her son. "By the way, what was your name? You know mine but I still don't know yours." He knelt down so he was eye level with the kid. He then glanced up at Izi hoping she took this as a queue to try and talk to the mother.
"Of course I noticed," Izi whispered back, "I'm not blind. Though after walking in on Zoro and Nami I almost wish I was." She looked back at the mother and watched how she interacted with the boy. It was clear that she was using what little energy she had to play with him. [I Maybe we should get Chopper to look at her before we have. That kid is too young to be left without a mother and I see no signs of a father.]
He looked at Izi and frowned slightly. "So you noticed it too..." He whispered in response. When the woman spoke Usopp smiled and bowed his head slightly. "Not a problem Ma'am. Your son was worried about you. We only saw it fit to make sure he made it home safe to help make you feel better." He smiled softly.
Izi noticed the look on Usopp's face and sighed. She wrapped her arm around his and leaned in a bit. "We can always have Chopper take a look at her. Or I can see if there is anything I can do. I'm just need you to distract the kid for a bit. Tell him one of your stories?"
"Thank you for bringing him home," the woman smiled, "I hope it wasn't a problem."
"No problem at all," Izi replied.
Usopp nodded but it was difficult for him to relax. When they came closer to a house he watched as the young boy ran to the door. He instantly noticed the look on the woman’s face. She was visibly upset. But seeing the woman smile at the boys gift made him sigh with relief. [i It’s hard to say... but I think that woman is sick...] He thought to himself. He remembered that expression well. Kaya held that expression all the time unless he was telling her a crazy story back when she was sick.
"Hey," Izi glanced at Usopp as the boy was leading them, "Relax." She's could feel how fast his pulse was and it worried her a little. "Judging by how well this place is taken care of and the fact that they are living in harmony with nature, nothing bad is going to happen. This is probably one of the safest islands out there."
Three trio came to a stop at a small house nestled between two trees. He released Izi's hand and ran to the door. "Momma," he called out as he opened it, "I got you something!"
His mother soon have to the door, towel in hand, looking, as the boy said, sad. "What is it?" When he held the flower up to her, she smiled, a spark of life returning to her eyes. "Oh it's lovely." She looked up and saw Usopp and Izi, "Who are your friends?"
"Oh uhm," the boy looked down, "I don't know the lady's name but the long nose guy's name is Usopp. I heard her call him that. But momma, she's magic! She brought the flower back to life after it was stepped on. Oh but she's not a fairy."
Usopp watched Izi interact with the child and smiled softly. But when her attention turned to him, the smile on her face made his heart skip a beat. "Y-Yeah, sure." He warily took her hand and immediately felt his face grow hot. "L-Lead the way." He tried to talk normally but his nerves were getting the best of him.
As they walked Usopp looked at all of their surroundings. It truly was a beautiful island.
Izi chuckled a little, "Not a fairy but close. Fairies are much smaller, about your size actually. I'm what's known as a wood nymph and we're much more powerful than fairies." She stood up and held her hand out to the boy. "Let's get you to your mother, okay?"
When she looked back at Usopp, she have a small smile. "Do you mind if we take him back to his mother? I want to make sure he gets back safely." She held out her other hand to him, "We can finish our shopping after."
Usopp looked at the architecture in the trees and smiled. "It almost seems like a town you'd read about in a fairytale." He chuckled softly before heard the sniffles of a child. He watched as Izi brought the flower back to life and watched the eyes of the child sparkle in awe.
"A-Are you a fairy miss? In mommy's story books they say that fairies can make flowers grow."
"You clearly have never been excited," Izi teased. As they walked she made sure to drink in the sights around her. The various greens and pops of color from the plants. How the buildings send to mesh seamlessly with the trees around them. When she looked up she was amazed to see smaller buildings built within and around the trees themselves. "This place is amazing!"
When she turned to look at Usopp, she spotted a child crouched on the ground. [I Why would a child be crying here?] She released Usopp's hand and walked over to him, kneeling down. "What's wrong?"
The little boy sniffled and looked up, "I was going to bring this flower to my mommy, she's been sad lately. But I tripped and it got trampled." He held the wilted, trampled flower out to Izi. "It was so pretty too."
Izi gave him a sad smile when she saw the flower. "May I?"
The boy sniffled but placed the flower in Izi's open hand. "C-can you help?"
"I'll do my best." Izi smiled and cupped her hands around the flower. She put her lips to an opening in her hands and blew. It was quick, but within seconds she began pulling her hands apart as the flower came to new life in her hands. The bloom was once again vibrant and lively. "Listen," she handed it back to the boy, "this flower has new life in it. It won't wilt or die." She looked away, [I Not while I'm alive at least.]
Usopp barely got to process the answer before he was dragged off the ship to the island. He tried to keep up but was losing his footing. “H-Hey Izi, Walt up!!” He finally caught his footing and matched her pace with a sigh. “Man and I used to think I ran fast.” He chuckled.
Izi nodded, "Ready!" She turned to see Zoro frowning and laughed. "Oh don't worry mister grumpy, we'll make sure to have some fun for you too." Once the ship was docked and the ramp positioned, she grabbed Usopp's hand. "Let's go!"
Robin shook her head as she watched Usopp and Izi take off. "I don't know who is more excited. Let's just hope they stay out of trouble."
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