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Sanji walked in and sat beside the tub looking at Thea with a small smile. "Thea you mentioned her suitor is one of two. Who do you think the other one could be?" He asked curiously. "I don't mind going after whoever it is but Luffy's asking so he's already raring to go..."
Adam was journaling everything that was happening with Emezra while Eve sat in a chair beside the bed watching the ships doctor rest. But then she noticed one of the bruises was fading rather fast. "Adam."
Adam looked over and noticed the bruise vanishing as well. "Well... it's good to know her fruit works quickly... Although I'm not sure which is better... dealing with bruises or being in a constant state of weakness until her body adapts once again..."
"They cold arrange for you to marry someone else," Quinn pointed out. "No mater the outcome, if you go to Germa, she loses you. Again." He listened to Sanji shut Nami down before leaving to check on Thea. Turning to Nami he chuckled a little before walking away as well.
Thea shifted in the water and leaned her head back, resting it on the edge of the tub. When she heard Sanji's voice she glanced at the door. "Yeah."
Sanji frowned and scratched the back of his head. "Dammit... I didn't even think about that... Although... chances are if she is to married into the family. They wouldn't want to pass her from brother to brother. Looks bad on us. So if she is going to be married in, I'm almost positive they would want her to wed Ichiji. But still I agree with Thea. It would probably be in everyones best interest if we don't go to Germa."
Nami frowned. "So you'll just let Thea make all the calls then."
"Nami, knock it off."
Nami flinched slightly at the coldness in Sanji's voice.
"I get it, you have something against Thea. But get over it. She's done nothing to deserve the shit treatment you've been throwing at her." He put his hands in his pockets then turned on his heels. "I'll go check on Thea." He muttered before he headed to the bathhouse.
He knocked on the door before opening it just a crack. "Thie? Can I come in?"
"And power," Quinn added. He looked up at the bathhouse and frowned. "One thing we didn't consider, at least those of us that aren't Thea," he turned to Sanji, "You could be who Evin is arranged to marry. You may have left but you're still royalty by blood. It's unlikely your family forgot about you, especially since you're the only one with an [I alive only] wanted poster."
"But they didn't come for Sanji," Nami counted out, "Just Evin."
"They haven't come for him yet."
Luffy rolled his shoulder and nodded. “That’s fine. I’ve beaten guys in suits before.”
Caramelle chuckled softly. “Luffy, a suitor doesn’t have to mean that the man only wears suits.”
Luffy cocked his head to the side. “Oh, what’s it mean then?”
“It means its one of the choices for a chosen woman to marry.”
“So Evin has a choice?”
Sanji sighed and shook his head. “That’s the funny thing about arranged marriages. Usually neither side has a choice. It’s usually up to the parents... but in rare cases it’s up to the husband to be. Its generally never up to the woman to decide who she wants to wed. That’s what royalty is like... its absolute shit... all for the sake of standing and politics.”
Thea smiled sightly at Sanji's comment. When Aspen ordered her to get cleaned up, she nodded and left, not hearing Eve's comment to Nami. Once she was in the bathhouse she striped down and discarded her ruined dress. First she rinsed off the blood in the shower then moved to the bath to soak for a bit and calm down.
In her mind she was going over various scenarios of what could happen when she returned to Germa. Would they try and execute her? What about Evin? What state would she be in when they found her?
Aspen's mouth reached at Eve's remark to Nami. She'd witnessed the jealously of Thea several times since the two crews started sailing together. When she heard Luffy's question, she shook her head in response. "All we know is that there is a high possibility that it's Sanji's brother."
"So we are going in blind," Zoro replied.
Eve was leaning against the wall closest to the sick bay since she could hear Adam cursing to himself inside and she knew he would want to know what was going on. The generally quiet woman was slowly getting more and more irritated at how Nami acted towards Thea. When the remark came out of her mouth, Eve made a ‘tch’ sound. She waited for Aspen’s orders then stared at Nami. “Careful Nami, jealousy is an ugly color on you.” Without another word she headed into the sick bay and hugged Adam from behind before explaining everything that was said on the deck.
Sanji ignored Nami’s comment knowing she just wanted to stir a reaction. Instead he kissed Thea’s forehead and whispered softly. “You’re the only one I’ll ever be interested in calling my wife.” But after he said that and his face turned slightly red. He heard Eve’s remark and saw Nami’s face turn red and she looked completely insulted. He had to try his best to hold his laugh back.
Luffy woke up when Eve came in and listened to what she said about what happened on deck. He gently squeezed Emzy’s hand before walking out of the room. “Who’s the other guy that could be her guy wearing a suit?”
"If you show up," Thea looked at Sanji, "and I mean you directly Sanji, they may try and force you into a marriage too. I'm not going to risk that."
Nami had listened to everything Sanji said and she understood why Thea said what she did. However, it wasn't until Thea spoke again that she commented. "So you're being selfish?"
Aspen frowned at Nami's reaction and sighed. She knew how important Evin and Sanji were to Thea. She also knew that Thea was the best one to make decisions on getting Evin back as she knew more about Evin than anyone. If she had to guess, it was likely the same with Sanji as well. "Enough. Thea, go get cleaned up." When Thea left, she turned to Nami and the others. "We'll split up once Emerza is back in good health."
Sanji frowned as he listened the Thea but he understood. "She's got a point. If I show up there's even less of a chance for us to take them by surprise if given the opportunity considering they're my family. Thea did used to work for my family but chances are my brothers will be more interested in the fact that she is of the female gender." He sighed pressing his fingers to his temples. "Not to mention, if by chance this is a different suitor. We would need to split into two teams one to go after Ichiji and the other to go after the other possible suitor. We can't change all going to one of the suitors and having it be the wrong one."
"She'll be in one of two places [I if] she's being forced into another marriage. If it's too Ichiji she'll likely be in her way to Germa kingdom."
"What do you mean if," Jace asked as he and Adam reached the deck. "Do you know where she is or don't you?"
"I don't, not for certain at least." Thea crossed her arms as she leaned against the railing. "Either way we'll end up splitting up. And as much as I want to get Evin back, we can't do anything until Emerza is healed."
"Can't do anything?! Evin is on her way to a murderous psychopath and you say we can't do anything?!"
"Do you have a better idea? If you haven't noticed, our main doctor is incapacitated. Do you really want us to go again Germa with no doctor? No offense to Adam's skills but he can't take care of all of us."
"What about Chopper," Misha suggested, "He's a doctor."
"But he isn't our doctor and we can't take him with us. The Straw Hats need him."
"Sounds like you don't want us going with you," Zoro pointed out.
"That's exactly it."
"That isn't your call to make," Nami replied.
"And it's not yours," Aspen said coldly to Nami. "Thea has a reason for not wanting you to come along and if be willing to bet it has everything to do with Sanji."
Sanji sighed softly. “He’s my brother... Thea’s family used to work for my family when we were both younger. We both know how he is. And he’s only gotten nastier with age.” Sanji scratched the back of his head and sighed. “The note said not to follow her... but she will die if she stays there.”
Thea didn't protest when she was picked up or when she was out back down. Chopper immediately started fussing about her while the two crews gathered. "I'm fine. We have a bigger problem on our hands."
"What's wrong," Robin asked.
"Evin is gone. Are was taken by her family and she left a note saying not to look for her."
"What do you mean taken by her family," Leo replied.
"I mean," Thea sighed, "Like Sanji she's royalty."
"She doesn't look it."
"That's because after she fled an arranged marriage she changed her appearance to not be found. That's no the point though. Her original marriage was to Ichiji Vinsmoke."
"Of Germa 66," Ivan asked.
"Yeah. Unfortunately if he gets his hands on her, he'll kill her."
"How do you know?"
Sanji’s eyes widened at the news. Even further when Thea mentioned his brother. Without a word he stood up and picked her up bridal style. “Sorry love. Hope you don’t mind me carrying you. We need to tell the others pronto...”
Without another word he dashed back to the ships as fast as his legs would take him when he got to the ship he jumped on and gently set Thea on her feet. “Everyone we need to talk.”
"She won't tell us anything." Thea leaned back and placed a bloody hand on her forehead. "She was hired to get to Jace, nothing more. At least Jace is going to be okay." She sighed and went silent for several minutes before she spoke again. "Like you, Evin is royalty. When I first met her, she had fled from an arranged marriage. She doesn't want to be a princess. She wants freedom." Dropping her hand, she looked at him.
"Sanji, she was supposed to marry Ichiji. If that's why they took her, he'll kill her."
Sanji rushed over to Thea and smiled softly. “Did you want to bring her back to the ship to question her or leave her here?” He sat down beside her before speaking again. “Adam is looking over Jace as we speak I don’t think it was poison. Just a knock pill perhaps.”
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