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Thea had worked on minor repairs for the Ashen ship the past few days. It wasn't much but it was definitely something that Evin could have handled. Part of her wondered if there was something wrong. Other than repairs, she had also helped Sanji in the kitchen a few times. Today, while everyone was getting ready for docking, she was working on one of the turbines.
"What are you doing," Quinn called up to Thea.
"Fixing my ship," she called back, "Turbine is broken."
"We're approaching the island," Nami said, "is everyone ready?!"
"Yes," Robin replied, noticing that the rest of the crew was either not paying attention or busy. "I believe Sanji is gathering a list of groceries and Chopper is taking stock of medicines."
"Good. And Thea?"
"Is repairing the Ashen ship."
"Hey Emzy," Chase shouted as he barged into her room, "We'll be docking soon! Stop hiding out!"
After another half hour, Thea had finished what she was working on. When she looked up, she saw that they were just about docked in the island. "That was fast." She looked between the two ships before standing up and walking, carefully, to the far end of the mast. [I This is probably the dumbest thing you've ever done.] With a deep breath, she started sprinting towards the other end of the mast. Just as she was reaching the end, she leaped towards the mast of the Sunny.
"Are you crazy," Ivan shouted when he saw what Thea was doing.
"What is she," Evin fell silent when she saw what was happening. "You stubborn woman! Are you trying to get yourself killed?!"
Thea landed, just at the edge of the Sunny's mast, and smiled at her accomplishment. However it was short lived, as a gust of wind caused her to lose her balance. [I Shit.] She shut her eyes tightly, waiting for impact. What she collided with was not the deck of the Sunny though. It was, in fact, the feathered back of a bird and not just any bird. It was Quinn.
"Are you trying to get yourself hurt?"
"No," Thea let out a breath of relief, "Thank you for catching me."
After several minutes of flying around, Quinn started heading back to the Sunny. As they grew closer to the deck, he slowly transformed back to his human form. By the time his feet touched the ground, he was human again, and setting Thea down. "Stay out of trouble."
Sanji chuckled softly and leaned down to peck Thea's lips. "I don't mean all the time dear. I know you have your responsibilities. It's just nice doing something I love with someone I love."
Emezra held up her hand on her injured arm while her other hand covered the wound. "I'm fine!"
Leo instantly grew worried until he noticed the wound under her hand was slowly beginning to reverse. "Emezra stop."
Emezra shook her head. "Leo. I'm fine. I know how far I can go." She continued until the wound wasn't bleeding any longer then tried to catch her breath. "Sorry for the scare... Guess I shouldn't have attempted the pressure points while I'm rusty."
Leo frowned. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine, Leo."
Chase walked over to Emzy and grabbed her arm looking over where the wound was. He began frantically flapping her arm as if shaking it would make the wound reappear. "Emzy I know you're a good doctor, but how did you do that?"
After Caramelle and Tallis finished their food they starting bringing it over to the sunny where there were buffet tables lined up. "Sanji and Thea still working?"
Robin smiled softly. "They should be done shortly."
A few moments later Sanji put the finishing touches and wrapped his arm around Thea. "You did great Love." He kissed her lips happily before grabbing a tray to carry everything out on.
A couple days had passed since the sea king incident and the two crews finally arrived at their next destination. Sanji to note of what they needed for ingredients even though it wasn’t much. Emezra had been laying low trying to not worry anyone even though she felt slightly weak from healing were wound from the sparring. “I need to start training again...”
"I would be happy to oblige but," Thea paused s moment, considering her response. "I do have responsibilities on my ship. Who knows what needs repaired that Evin couldn't take care of." She moved the cutting board full of cut up vegetables over to Sanji. "However," she moved around him to get to the fruit, "I'll be happy to help while I'm staying here."
"Emzy," everyone shouted in unison.
Sanji would occasionally glance over at Thea watching her cut the vegetables. He couldn’t help but smile. “You know, I wouldn’t mind getting help in the kitchen more often.”
Emezra was reading Leo’s movements and when she went to hit a mild pressure point her ring slipped and she fell forward slicing her arm against the ring. “Gack!”
"As long as you start focused," Thea teased her laughing a little. While chopping vegetables, she gives over at him and how at ease he was. He was confident but it wasn't obvious like you'd expect. It was the subtle way he sliced the meat and how relaxed he looked. [I He really is amazing.]
Now that Zoro was seeing the weapon in action and how well Emerza handled it, he was amazed. How are easily deflected Leo's attacks with the ring. The more he watched, he could tell the two were in sync with one another. A sign that they had sparred several times in the past and the trust between them.
After the song ended Emezra let the ring fall to the ship. She then looked at Leo and smirked.
Leo sighed and nodded. “Alright. Alright. Don’t whine when I best you again.”
Emezra shook her head. “I think you’re getting too cocky.”
Chase grinned before elbowing Zoro. “Man this is the best I love watching them spar!”
Emezra drew out the blades as Leo drew his sword. She lightly began swinging the ring around her arm when Leo was ready she dashed in but immediately swung the ring down her body blocking his attack while bending backwards switching the ring to her leg as she sprung back with her wrists.
Sanji smiled softly at the sight beside him. He wrapped his arm around her and kissed the top of her head. “We got this.” He winked before beginning to slice the sea king.
Zoro stopped chatting with Usopp when Emerza appeared. Since he has requested to see her with her weapon, he wants to give her his undivided attention. When it seemed that the others were talking he shot then a look. After a moment, he focused on her once more. Seeing how are moved with the ring, it fascinated him. [I I'm curious to see it in action against an enemy.]
Thea put on the apron that was handed to her then looked at Sanji. "Where would you like me to start?" Looking at the various ingredients and the pieces of sea king around her, she was a little intimidated. If only because cooking wasn't something she did. She knew how, of course, but with Caramelle and Tallis, she didn't need to. [I What have I gotten myself into?]
Not wanting to give Sanji any indication that something was wrong, she took a deep breath and started on the vegetables, leaving the meat to him. If there was one thing she knew about him, it was that he was an excellent cook, able to recreate something based on smell alone. But having her in his team would definitely put him at a major disadvantage.
"Your staring," Robin chuckled.
"I am not," Zoro replied, not once taking his eyes of Emerza. "It's a technique I haven't seen before." Off to the side he could hear the Ashen crew cheering her on. [I Was she a performer before becoming a pirate?]
Chase chuckled and shook his head. “I don’t think so. Thea has drive. And sometimes Tallis can be clumsy.” Chase kicked his feet in the chair and grinned. “Man its been forever since I’ve seen Emzy with her ring.”
Emezra finally came back with the large ring resting on her shoulder. She had the blades retracted for the start so she could get comfortable with the movements once again. She stepped on the lawn and stretched so her joints wouldn’t lock up on her. “Franky, can you play something with a fast tempo?”
“You got it!”
Once the music started up the ring was on the grass she used pressure from her foot to make the ring climb up her body without using her hands. She ignored the fact that people were watching her at that moment and just tried to remember the feeling of the ring. The movements that needed to be fluid.
"Probably has to do with Zoro," Aspen replied with a chuckled, "She's grown on him."
After a short while, the sea king was divided up between the two ships for the competition. Tallis and Caramelle were preparing in the Ashen kitchen while Sanji and Thea were preparing in the Sunny kitchen. Outside, Franky had set up a stereo to play music while the two crews waited.
Zoro was leaning against the railing while waiting for Emerza to return. "So a competition huh? Isn't Eyebrows at a disadvantage with Thea not being a cook?"
Emezra nodded. “Guess I’ll go get my ring.” She smiled softly before heading down from the crows nest.
“Oh hey Emzy, you going to watch the contest.”
Emezra shook her head. “Nah I have to practice my ring.”
Leo raised his eyebrow then smirked. “A cooking contest and an Emezring performance? Man who’s birthday is it?”
"Pervert," Thea giggled.
"Get a room," Usopp groaned.
"We would but there is a competition we need to win. Besides, I'm not too keen on using a room shared by seven men."
Usopp's face flushed, "T-that's not what I meant!"
"Okay you two," Caramelle chuckled, "Let's get your guy divided and the competition underway."
Zoro looked back down to the main deck, "Looks like they're cutting him up. Should have room in no time."
Sanji chuckled and wrapped his arms around her before whispering. “I’ve seen all of you. Even if you wore something that covered every inch you’d still distract me with your beauty.” He kissed her cheek softly.
"I'm always up for a challenge." Thea frowned for a moment, "You may be at a disadvantage since I'm not a cook. But I'll do my best." She crossed her arms after a little more thought, then looked at Sanji with a raised brow. "The real question is, how much if a distraction will my attire be? If so, I hope you have an apron for me."
Sanji thought for a moment then smirked at the idea of a challenge. "That sounds like it could be fun. As long as no food goes to waste then I'm all for it." He rolled his shoulder slightly before smiling at Thea. "What do you say? You up for a challenge?"
Emezra cocked her head to the side but then nodded. "Sure. Once the deck clears I can show you. It's been awhile." She chuckled softly.
"Looks like they are deciding on what to do with the sea king." Zoro looked out the window then at Emerza again. "You can show me once the deck is cleaned up. I want to see what you can do."
"I'll say," Aspen replied.
Thea pulled away from Sanji so she could put her hair up. "If I remember correctly, there are several ways to prepare sea king, correct? Since there are," she counted on her fingers, "23 of us. Might be a good idea to just prepare it in every way we can. Especially with how Luffy and Chase eat. But I'm not a cook so that's really not up to me."
"True but you know your stuff," Tallis pointed out.
"What do you say Sanji? Are you up for the challenge? We could even make it a competition," Caramelle suggested.
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