Oh Blue, it took me a long time... to think that I could end this chapter earlier. Well, at least it's extra long. Thank you all who reviewed!

Chapter 7: Home

June 8th, 11 AotP

Marineford, Paradise

The night was cold. She smoked her cigaret slowly as she looked at the lead gray clouds above the Marineford. She felt as someone put her captain coat on her shoulders. The man rested near her as he lit his own cigaret.

"Since when do you smoke, Roci?" she asked.

The man blushed. When years ago her group recruits moved from East Blue to Marineford for intense training, she and Smoke-bastard had competitive in everything. Once they had argued who would smoke more cigarets and probably that's how their addiction started. Or rather hers since Smokey took his name too literally... Roci, their meek, clumsy friend tried to scroll them but it never worked out.

"During my mission... some bad memories had caught me..." he sighed. "It calms my mind."

She gently touched his arm to comfort him. Even when they were kids, his body was covered in scars. Both her, Smoker, Hina and all of their group mates tried to figure out what happened to their friend but as they discovered, even Sengoku didn't know anything. Though, now he probably did. Roci must have told him.

The drops of rain started falling down extinguishing their cigarets. Roci looked at his annoyed and probably cursed internally. He would never do it out loud.

"What will you do now?" he asked. She stiffed for a second. She brought her best amused smile on her face.

"Why do you ask, Roci-kun? Do you want me for your own?" she asked cheekily.

She looked up. Sometimes she couldn't believe how tall did he grow.

His face was as calm as possible (he really was trying to be serious here!), although a light blush covered his cheeks.

She smiled gently and looked at the direction of East Blue.

"I guess I'm going home. I have some gifts for my little girls. Nami will get maps and Nojiko new bandana and bracelet... I'll cook them some good dinner with this new idea for tangerine food... Oh, Roci! You need to visit me and try my tangerines. They are the best on entire East Blue! Who am I kidding! The entire world!" she spun around to show the said 'entire world'. The floor was wet. Suddenly she felt as her foot slipped and she started falling down.

"Belle!" Roci yelled and tried to grab her hand but instead, he fell down himself. She caught the balance second earlier and looked at the lying man. He was soaking wet. She started laughing hard almost falling over. No matter how much time passed he was the same.

"Ha ha." he said dryly. "Bet you find it funny."

"Ye-ha-es-!" she choked on her own laugh. "I-ha-I d-ha-do!"

Suddenly Roci grabbed her hand and pulled down. She joined him on the ground. They wrestled for a few minutes. He was stronger but too clumsy for his own good and she was fast.

In the end, he ended up lying with her sitting on his stomach with her legs crossed on the side. She smiled and so did he.

"Same as always Roci." she laughed but he didn't listen.

"You're thin." he said.

"So?" she raised her eyebrow. "You should know I always had an incredible body."

He looked through her cocky attitude.

"Sickly thin... skinny." he said as he gently touched her waist. "You're not eating enough."

She pursed her lips in a thin line and looked away.

"It's not like I have any option."

He sighed. He knew what was she talking about. Her situation was much better than his but he remembered the time when his mother lied to him and Doffy about the food she ate. That she was full. She wasn't. They couldn't see it, too hungry to realize she lied. Thankfully, Bellemere's situation was much better.

The rain became heavier yet they didn't realize it.

"Belle... come back to marines." he said quietly. She looked back at him.

"I can't." she said firmly and stood up.

"Why?!" he was on his feet in a second looking at the woman angrily. Couldn't she understand?!

"Nami an Nojiko need me!"

"You won't help them when you're dead!" he yelled. "It will only become worse. You'll starve yourself to death!"

She grabbed the hem of his marine uniform and forcefully lowered him to her height.

"I won't!" the worst was that she knew he was right. "It'll be better and I'll be able to give them all wonders they deserve!"

The hot tears were falling down her cheeks. She tried to look at Rocinante angrily but she couldn't she felt so helpless. She embraced him looking for comfort. He smiled as he hugged her back.

"Don't worry Belle. We'll figure it out."

"There is nothing to figure out." she said when she was sure her voice was calm. "I'm gonna rejoin the marines."

XxX

June 8th, 11 AotP

Marineford, 9th-floor 3rd door on the left, Paradise

Garp looked at two young wet marines that just burst out of the door. Wet, probably because they were training. Swimming in fact. He remembered that since it was he who taught them that. It was that time when Sengoku and Tsuru were busy and left the HQ and him with their brats. So he threw the whole group to the sea on Calm Belt... but now that he thought about it Rocinante is a devil fruit user so swimming in Calm Belt was probably not the case... thinking in through he must have slipped (or was taken by the wind. Such a storm outside...) and fell into the ocean and Belle was there to fish him out. Yes. That was probably the correct answer.

Both of them weren't his underlings but for some reason ever since they joined marines, they always came to him. Every time they had a problem they went upstairs to the 9th-floor, turned right and choose 3rd door on the left: his office. Not like he really used that, but it was a perfect place for his collection of photos with his cute little grandsons. Sabo and Law made a recent appearance. This beautiful photo with four little troublemakers beaten into a pulp was like a gem among other treasures! Ah, the beauty of the time they spent all together, he, the navy officer grandpa, training his adorable grandsons to be strong marines!

Neither Tsuru-chan, nor Sengoku had such responsibilities or such cute grandsons... okay, Law was kinda Sengoku's grandson too, but Garp was the one training him, so it didn't count!

But back to the current situation, both Rocinante and Bellemere was now standing in front of him. And of course, he was here to help them as he was good Uncle Garp. And Tsuru-chan and Sengoku says he's immature and irresponsible.

"Vice-Admiral Garp!" Bellemere slapped her hands on his desk. "I need you to help me rejoin marines!"

Oh. That's new. Since when there are such wonders on these seas that want him to train them. I mean, Garp knew that secretly everyone wanted to be trained for strong marines, but for some unknown for him reason there wasn't anyone who asked him...

At the same time, Rocinante was really wondering if his dear friend was right in the head. Maybe since she was so skinny something happened to her brain. Asking Garp for training was like asking for suicide!

"Of course I help you two!"

"Huray!"

"Why do you count me in?!"

XxX

June 10th, 11 AotP

Shimotsuki Village, Isshin Dojo, East Blue

"Kuina: 1978. Zoro: 0." said the jury.

It happened again. She won, he lost. And he was goddammit angry. He shouted but she didn't listen. In her head was a voice asking her how long she'll be able to keep it this way. She could tell he was getting stronger. Not just in strength but also in technique. She was better only because she was more skillful than him.

She wanted to be better but how? She was a girl. A girl slowly growing to be a woman. A woman who would be weak. Only to marry and give birth to a child. That was to be her future and she so didn't want that.

But she couldn't stop the flowing time. When she looks in the mirror in the bathroom she sees the differences in her body. She is different than boys in her father's dojo. The gentle shape of growing breasts is slowly becoming more visible. She's still flat. She's still a kid. Yet, she's slowly growing up. In a few years, she won't be able to beat anyone.

XxX

June 15th, 11 AotP

Marineford, Garp's (grandkids photo collection) office, Paradise

If one thought that only a week of a training wasn't good enough to go back in shape, one didn't know Garp, Rocinate decided. One also didn't know Bellemere because the ex-celestial could tell you that she had a fire inside her. She may not be in her previous shape yet but for a week of training, it was damn impressive.

"We're going on East Blue." they heard and looked at the Vice-Admiral.

Bellemere jumped out of joy.

"The Navy Pass!" he yelled. "You got it, Mr. Garp!"

She even hugged the man and grabbed the paper from his hand. She jumped in place as she shouted:

"Nami, Nojiko I'm coming!"

"You're welcome, lass." laughed the Hero of the Marines. "Now, of with you two. It's high time to pack yourselves!"

"Why do you count me in, again?!"

XxX

June 18th, 11 AotP

Conomi Island, Cocoyashi Village, East Blue

Nami ran inside their room and curled at the corner of her bed crying and sobbing. Her own yell ringed in her ears. It wasn't true! I couldn't be! Yet, inside she was terrified that it might be! She was so alone.

"SHUT UP! JUST GET OVER IT! SHE'S NOT COMMING BACK!"

For a second Nojiko couldn't believe she said that. Her sister run away from her. How could Nami said such thing?! They were just picking the tangerines. They were unbelievably big this year and she couldn't hide her excitement. She wanted to show them to Bellemere and Nami... How could her little sister thought that THEIR MOTHER would ever leave them!

Nojiko looked at the sea. It was so different without Bellemere here. So quiet. The isle felt as if it was put into a deep deep sleep. The wind blew as if to encourage her. She looked at the horizon and then as if knew hope she saw a messengering hawk of the Navy and it landed just in front of her with a letter.

"For Nami and Nojiko..." she read "From Lt. Commander... Bellemere!"

She ripped the cover of the envelope.

XxX

June 19th, 11 AotP

Dawn Island, The City of Goa, East Blue

Sabo smirked as he looked at the thugs. In front of him was standing Baf Rikritsk, the leader of the gang. The man was probably thinking that since Sabo was alone he could get his revenge from their last runway.

"Sabo, who allowed you to enter our territory?"

"Your territory?" Sabo smirked. "Aren't you a bunch of imbeciles?" he mocked them. "Stop trying to be threatening when you can't even beat a 10-year-old."

Baf was furious.

"Kill that brat!"

Before any of them had any chance of attack, the other brat, appeared behind them and swing his pipe. The three man fell on the ground.

"Ace!" someone recognized him, but he was hit on the chin by the other pipe. The strike, send him flying.

"Where are you looking?!" smirked the blonde.

Suddenly in the middle of them all appeared the oldest of the four kids and just after he came the youngest. In a second the whole gang was on the ground. The 'Trouble Quartet' robbed them just in time before the city guards arrived.

As they left the city it was slowly getting dark. It was the high time to hunt something. Ever since the four started living with Dadan, the bandits needed more food. Much more food.

On the way back they hunted two deer and a wild boar.

"We're back!" yelled Luffy as he entered Dadan's hut.

"Don't come back you little bastards!"

They throw their hunt at Dadan.

"It's for dinner." Sabo said casually.

"Cook it." ordered Ace.

"My parents were married." corrected her Law.

"It's a meal time!" cheered Luffy.

XxX

June 19th, 11 AotP

Shimotsuki Village, Docks, East Blue

The Navy ship docked at the nightfall. It was funny how small the village looked compared to the ship. Bellemere smiled as she stepped on the ground. Two more days and she'll see her girls! She was finally of the ship. This was their last step before Conomi Island. She was so happy. Just after entering the East Blue they stayed for a day in Logue Town. The Captain of the base welcomed them. She was a bit sad that she didn't meet Smoke-man. As a Rear Admiral, he was sent often on the missions now. Although she heard he recently started causing problems to the higher-ups. If one asked her he was doing only good things but apparently sometimes good wasn't simple.

But it was a different story. Now they sailed here. Old Garp had to meet some owner of the nearest dojo. Not like it was her business. She wandered around the small village. Everything was closed, not surprising since it was almost nightfall. Normally she wouldn't probably leave for such short amount of time but she needed to think. What was she about to tell her daughters? She didn't want to leave them but on the other hand, she needed this job. And neither Nami nor Nojiko shouldn't yet join the marines younglings group. Both of them were too young for that.

As she walked she passed near the blacksmith shop. She was quite surprised when she discovered that someone was still working there. She looked inside and to her surprise, she saw a girl around Nojiko's age. She was sharpening a sword. She smiled, probably deciding that the tool was enough deadly.

She walked to the backdoor to enter the basement to take something when she slipped. As fast as she could Bellemere run and caught the hand.

XxX

June 20th, 11 AotP

Dawn Island, Bandits' Hut of Mt. Corvo, East Blue

They barely woke up when they heard the noise from outside of the hut. Ace was seriously annoyed. Why couldn't that baboon of a woman be quiet in the morning? He forgot that last night he and his brothers didn't let her sleep at all. That's not his problem.

"I heard that Luffy lives here." It was a voice of a young woman. Sabo, Ace, and Law looked at each other surprised. Sure, Dadan was a push over but she was still a mountain bandit. Who would be crazy enough to wander here?

They get the answer really fast.

"MAKINO!" yelled Luffy and rocketed himself from the hut.

His older brothers followed him outside to saw their guests. There, they saw an older man in glasses and silly hat and a beautiful young woman with dark green hair. She was the one hugging their younger brother.

"Luffy." she smiled and so did the old man.

"We didn't saw you past 6 months so we decided to visit you."

"Old man Woop Slap!" he cheered. The two were the closed thing to a family he had in Foosha Village.

"Just don't tell your grandpa." Makino winked playfully at him and put an index finger to her mouth.

"To think that he really is living with bandits..." muttered the man.

"What you have a problem with that!"

Dadan and said man started glaring at each other after only a few sentences but Law, Sabo, and Ace paid them no mind.

"I have presents for you." Makino said cheerfully. "Mr. Garp probably didn't think about it so..." she made a pause as she took a T-shirt from the basket she was carrying. "Ta-da! New clothes!"

"Awesome!" Luffy yelled happily.

"But I have so many of them so why won't you take some as well?" she said as she looked at three other brothers. Sabo smiled instantly. As much as he loved his coat sometimes it gets dirty. Some new attire would fix that. Law followed him after a second. The woman had the same smile as nun Angelica. It was stunning how similar it felt. The last one was Ace, but only after encouragement from Makino. He tried to look cool but the deep red flush on his face couldn't fool anyone.

XxX

June 20th, 11 AotP

Shimotsuki Village, Docks, East Blue

Kuina woke up and sat up. To her surprise she wasn't in her room but an unknown location. She wanted to stand up but she felt an awful pain in her ankle.

"Oh, you're up." said the woman who just entered the room. "My name is Bellemere." she smiled as she introduced herself.

"Kuina." she muttered. "Where am I?" she asked. As she looked she noticed the woman was wearing a marine uniform. It was relieving but at the same time, she was quite scared still. Her father was rather wary of marines even though she didn't know why. Guess, the trial stayed in her.

"On our ship. I'm sorry if I scared you. Yesterday I saw you in the forge and you slipped walking down the stairs." she explained. "Your ankle is not twisted only badly bruised. You'll be good in next few days."

Kuina breathed with relief.

"Good. I need to practice if I want to be the best swordswoman in the world." she said with a smile.

"Oh, a dreamer, aren't you." Bellemere chuckled. "Big one. You're like my little Nami. She also has one." she smiled.

Kuina looked at her hands sadly. She really tried to act as if she could do it but even after her encouragement with Zoro she still felt quite unsure. Even after losing 2000 times he still was ready to fight. He was so determined while she wanted to give up before her first loss.

"What's with that face, girl?" she asked.

"Um... It's just that my... rival is getting stronger. Since he's a boy he's going to beat me in next few months..."

Bellemere looked at her unimpressed and slammed her fist at girls head.

"AAAUUUUUUU!" she yelled

"That's my new teachers' technique. I call it girl's power: FIST OF DISAPPOINTMENT!"

"Are you trying to kill me, you crazy woman!" Kuina yelled. Bellemere summoned an annoyed expression on her face.

"BELLE!" they suddenly heard from the main deck and a tall blonde man ran inside. Then he slipped and fell down on the ground comically. The mood changed drastically.

"What's the matter, Roci?"

"That old moronic marine just jumped out of the ship!" said the man as he stood up.

"WHAT!" yelled angry Bellemere.

"He said he's going swimming to the nearest isle and is going to be back tomorrow!"

"THAT BASTARD! I NEED TO GO TO MY GIRLS!"

"That's not all! The news came out. And they are not good!"

The two left the room leaving Kuina alone. Said girl was still massaging her head. Who would have thought that there exist such strong woman...

XxX

June 20th, 11 AotP

Dawn Island, Bandits' Hut of Mt. Corvo, East Blue

This was probably the best day of their life. It was long since they could eat such good food in peace. Dine and dashes didn't really count. They needed to eat really fast and couldn't enjoy the taste. Makino's food was like heaven. All of them eat much more peacefully than normally. Even Luffy. Said boy was really happy. Makino's cooking was not only good but remained him of the time the two of them spent with Shanks. A lot of the dishes were created with the recipes she got from Lucky Roo.

Sabo only ate such food when he was a noble but then it never tasted this good. He guessed it's because Makino was such nice person and he was eating with people he liked not that joke of parents.

Law enjoyed the taste with each bite. It reminded him a little of his fathers' cooking. His mother was really terrible at it. Once when Marcus was at the hospital on his night duty, Lami and he den-dened him and begged to come back because their mother took off the frying pan.

To Law's surprise, there was not only typical East Blue food but also some from North. Even his favorite shrimps with garlic, parsley, and chili! He didn't care what that old moronic marine would say because the four of them were so going to visit Party Bar in Foosha.

Ace didn't remember to ever eat something this good. He was so going to have a cook as good as Makino on his ship... speaking of which. Makino was so nice. Never in his entire life, he met such nice girl. She smiled a lot and smelled good. And for some reason, his heart was beating really fast when she looked at him. It was stupid. Why was his face getting red when he wasn't angry?

"I'm so going to find the best cook in the world when I'll set sail." said Sabo.

"I'm gonna be a pirate before you so mine gonna be much better." laughed Ace.

"Well, I'm already a pirate so you both lost." mocked Law.

"No! My pirate cook will be much better!" yelled Luffy.

Suddenly Dadan paled and all the bandits had this terrified look on their faces as they saw a figure behind the kids. They all cringed in horror and some even spat the sake. The four brothers noticed their reaction and stopped talking. They heard a deep grunt and the sound made them froze in fear. They looked around shakily like robots. Their skin color changed to violet. Fear overcome them. Behind them was an angry Vice-Admiral.

"You little brats still have some dumb ideas!" he said with a devilish grin and cracked his knuckles. "I guess I have to teach you, kids, a lesson."

The next day they decided they'll never going to visit Dadan again.

XxX

As the morning came the next day Garp was woken up by Dadan's panicked yell. The whole bunch of bandits was now in hysteria. The woman started shouting but Garp paid her no mind. His brats were strong they'll survive. He heard his snail-phone ringing.

"Mr. Garp." Rocinante spoke from the other side. "We have a problem."

His vacations were going to be really short, weren't they?

XxX

As he was gone four boys decided it was the high time to build their new home.

"Treehouse?" asked Law.

"You have a better idea?" asked him Sabo.

Law only shrugged. His hideout in the jungle was good but it wasn't perfect. It wasn't high above the ground and wild animals sometimes walked inside and that's not something anyone would be comfortable with.

"Okay. We need to project it." Sabo decided and it took them a little bit. Sabo had a general idea with was pretty cool but it lacked some parts that Law helped him with. They decided to build it on the highest tree in the forest.

When they showed it to the other two, Luffy's eyes were practically glowing with excitement, while Ace was calmer but even he couldn't hide his. They used materials from Grey Terminal and in a week their hideout was completed.

There was everything they needed.

It was their private part of the world.

They built a home.

XxX

June 22th, 11 AotP

Shimotsuki Village, Docks, East Blue

For last few days something was off. He couldn't find her anywhere!

"KUINA!" he yelled as he wandered around the village. He and Saga got really worried. Besides them, the daughter of dojo owner didn't have any friends. Not to mention Zoro and Kuina made a vow and now she disappeared. He sighed and walked back to the orphanage. It was a small house quite near center of the village. He ignored the matron that would usually shout at all of them. It's not like he wasn't grateful he could live here but these people weren't his family. If anything the closest thing to one was Koshiro with his father-uncle attitude and kids that practiced there.

He walked to his room. He was one of not many that had a bedroom on his own. Other kids were a bit afraid of him. When he entered he saw a long item covered in packing paper and tied with twine. Near it was a letter.

He decided to open the pack first but when he did his eyes widened. It was Kuina's sword. Wado Ichi... something. Anyway, it was her sword and that got him worried.

He opened the latter. It was covered with Kuina's crooked handwriting.

Hi Alga-brain,
I know you probably look for me but I'm off the island. The day after we made our promise I met a marine woman called Bellemere. She's super strong even if she's not a swordmaster. So I decided to sail with her and become a marine and find an awesome teacher in marine headquarters. I'm living Wado Ichimonji with you so you remember our promise. Keep it in good care, okay? I'll get it back when we become the best and have our final battle, so become stronger you weak grass-head.
(and also I wasn't sure if they gonna let me keep it in the marines so better safe than sorry!)
Please, say sorry to my father for leaving but don't tell him where I am. He doesn't trust marines and doesn't want me to get stronger and I can't make him do this to me.
Till we meet next time!
That annoying girl who beat you up 2000 times!

He wanted to crumple the paper and rip it to shreds but he only sighed in relief. At least that idiotic woman was safe.

XxX

At the same time Kuina was found on the Navy ship as a stowaway but fortunately, both Bellemere and her friend recognized her. They wanted to get back to her home isle but she begged them not to do it and finally, they decided that their superior, the Vice-Admiral or something... will determine her fate.

She looked at the horizon and there was only sea. Her homeland far away. The wind blew her hair as if it tried to encourage her. She smiled gently. She loved Shimotsuki Village but she couldn't stay there. That place was too small for her. Too quiet. She knew her father loved her but she couldn't let him stop her ambition. She hoped he will forgive her eventually when she'll be back... as the greatest swordswoman in the world.

She was living home!

XxX

June 23th, 11 AotP

Conomi Island, Gosa Village, East Blue

Ever since morning Nami and Nojiko were sitting on the pier of Gosa Village and trying to see the ship that Bellemere was traveling on. It was near noon and they almost lost the hope. The letter Bellemere sent helped them a lot but inside Nami still had her doubts. It was 1:34 p.m. when a huge ship arose above the horizon. As it was getting closer it looked bigger and bigger and when it was finally docking they couldn't believe how gigantic it was. Never in their lives, Nami or Nojiko saw such big ship!

It was so big that it couldn't dock near pier but it was anchored on the deeper part of the waterfront.

The sloops were lowered into the water. In the first one were a couple of people: a tall blonde guy, a young girl in a bit to big marine uniform, some dude in mafioso hat and some random marines but the most important was her! Bellemere! She was waving to them and shouting their names.

Bellemere was home.

XxX

June 23th, 11AotP

Dawn Island, Treehouse, East Blue

The four brothers were just about to go sleep.

"What are you doing Law?" asked Ace as their older brother moved one plank of the ceiling. It was a special place for their most important things like their Sakazuki cups.

"I have something I want to hide there." he responded.

"Really?" asked Luffy as he sat up on his makeup bed. "Is it a treasure? Trao! You're like a real pirate!"

Law chuckled.

"I am a real pirate, Luffy, just on the leave. And yes. It's a treasure. My most important possessions from my hometown." he smiled sadly. There was Lami's favorite hairpin and his mother's stethoscope and of course his father's small photo album. The only things he took from that place.

He smiled at his new younger brothers and lay down next to them.

They looked at the ceiling of their new hideout and they all thought the same thing.

How is that, that they finally felt as if they belong somewhere?

Sabo could honestly tell that never before he felt so warm. The fuzzy feeling of happiness rang in his heart. Before in High Town, it was only a small fire that bearly could give him any heat but now it was a giant fireplace.

Law smiled as he closed his eyes. Till today he only dreamed about three people but now there was more of them. Besides his mother, father and sister stood Sabo, Ace, and Luffy. A bit farther away stood Cora-san, old hag Dadan and Moronic Marine. There were nun Angelica and his friends from Flevancian school. Did he finally found peace?

Ace thought about his mother and how sometimes he felt as if he heard her. He only remembered few words but what was more important was her warm hug before she passed away. It was a brief memory but it comes back to him every time he was with his brothers.

Luffy grinned. Never before he saw so much light. His brothers were glowing with their own happiness even if they couldn't say that. They were so bright that the night felt like the day and it made Luffy smile even wider.

And somewhere there were people who had homes, and those who returned to theirs. There were ones that left, those who lost theirs and those who build theirs.

Home.

A/N: For all of you who got confused by appearance of all this other characters: Law, Sabo, Ace, and Luffy are main characters but there are other that I need to address because they'll appear in the story later and I'm not a fan of flashbacks in fanfiction if they are not needed.

Other notes: Saga is a character from one of the movies. He was Zoro's friend. For all of you who's not a movie fan, I can tell you he and any other movie character won't be that important. They will appear here and there. The guy in mafioso hut is Bogard: Garp's right-hand man and he's a swordsman... you know what does it mean? Oh, and Kuina is alive... I love her and want her to be alive so here she is.

Now, everyone who would like to be trained to be a strong marine by Garp (and from this chapter we all know that means everyone!) needs to review... Thinking it through I'm so not gonna have many reviews...