Disclaimer: I own nothing
The night of his eighth birthday goes something like this:
"Listen, I'll hand over all the money I have." His father pushes him into his mother's arms as he maneuvers himself in front of them. "Just don't hurt my family." He pleads with the man holding them at gun point.
"Zehahaha! I think I'll do whatever I want!"
"Honey!" His mother cries out as she holds him tighter, smothering him into her side. "P-Please! Don't hurt my bab- "
The world seems to stop. He can't hear. He can't see. He can't feel. No… That's not true. He feels his head breaking open, as if something is trying to claw itself from the deepest part of his mind.
Years seem to pass, and he still can't hear anything, but he sees. Sees his father laying on the ground. Feels his mother slumped on top of him, her blood dripping onto his face. And then he finally hears.
"Don't just sit there!" He's almost sure he's never heard a voice like that before, it sounds amused and angry but somehow familiar.
"Zehaha! Poor kid must've lost his mind." He sees the man angle the gun towards him, his finger sitting on the trigger." Don't worry kid. It'll all be over soon."
It's that voice again. But this time it's screaming, a blood curling scream. Before he knows it, the assailant's eyes are rolling to the back of his head as he drops to the ground.
He hears it again. "Go on…. Do it," The voice demands. He sees the gun. Feels his body moving towards it as his mother's blood touches his lips.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
It the taste that snaps him out of it. It tastes like metal and its warm to touch. He feels his fingers coating his lips with it and then he hears that voice once more.
He knows that voice
Murder at Sabaody Park. Descendent of royalty and world government official Wayne Bruce, along with his wife Wayne Martha found murdered. Marines investigated gunshots and the Wayne couple dead at the scene. Unfortunately, the marines could not apprehend the pirate alive, but they were able to rescue the couple's son, Bruce Wayne. Marines have escorted the young orphan safely to his family's butler in Marineford Town. World Government officials made a statement citing that any attacks on their colleagues will face the powers of true justice.
"I'm so sorry Master Bruce" Alfred spoke softly as he held his charge. "If only I was there."
"Why Alfred?" The boy asked blankly, watching his parents be lowered into the ground.
"I don't know young master." He sighs, running his hands through the boy's hair. "The news is saying the assailant was an escaped pirate."
That day, Bruce decided he hated pirates.
Five figures sit in a dark room, each of them gazing upon the man standing before them. "You were supposed to wipe out the entire family. You're getting sloppy Spandine." One of them uttered, sounding bored.
"Sorry sirs." Spandine somehow controlled his shivers as he bowed. "We're not sure how the boy survived. An unknown person must've showed up and saved him." He paused for a moment, biting his lip. "Should I send CP9 to arrange an accident?"
A snort sounded through the room. "Are you stupid? It would be a little strange if the boy died so close to his parent's murder. Besides he was never the main target in the first place."
Another one of the men spoke up. "Indeed. And if he ever tries to follow in his family's footsteps, we can deal with him then. You're dismissed Spandine."
Bruce is a strange child. Most of the time he's quiet and courteous but once in a while he's full of cheer, smiling at everyone and everything with a too big smile on his face. Alfred's not sure what he should do with the boy he loves like a grandson. He's pulled him from his private academy so he could be home schooled after the incident, but he's worried about how his young master no longer has anyone around his age to play with and how his parents murder has been affecting him.
"Master Bruce" Alfred calls softly, trying to rouse the boy from his sleep.
"Mmhm" The young master stretches before sniffing the air. "Is that?"
"Your favorite? Indeed, it is!" The sweet smile he receives makes waking up so early to cook breakfast worth it.
Bruce is 14 when he wakes up and doesn't smell breakfast for the first time in years. "…Strange" He ponders before hopping out of bed, realizing its later than he thought.
"I don't remember Alfred telling me he'd be busy today." He walks down the hall to the closest room. Ever since it became just the two of them Alfred had moved to the closest bedroom, so he'd be closer whenever Bruce needed help or had nightmares.
"Alfred," He called out, knocking on the door. "Are you in there?" Bruce knows he shouldn't just enter without permission, but he wants to be sure Alfred's not in his room before he searches the rest of the house. "I'm coming in."
"Oh… He must've overslept." He thinks, when he sees Alfred in bed. Suddenly an idea comes to mind and he races out of the room, making sure to shut the door quietly.
It's not quite breakfast anymore but not time for lunch so Bruce decides to make cucumber sandwiches and Alfred's favorite tea. He remembers how his entire family would sit outside and enjoy cucumber sandwiches on a cool spring day.
"You know Bruce, I used to hate these until Alfred made them. They're his own special recipe" He remembers his father telling him that while Alfred blushed mildly.
"I'm back Alfred." Bruce knocks lightly before entering." Wow... He must be super tired" He thinks, feeling bad about how hard it must be for Alfred to look after him and the family affairs.
"It's time to get up" He says, sitting the tray down. Chills run down Bruce's spine as he touches Alfred's shoulder and feels how cold he is through his nightshirt.
Time seems to stop. Bruce can't see anything, but he feels the tears and snot running down his face. And then he hears it, that laugh that he thought he forgot.
Bruce never eats a cucumber sandwich again
"Why do you want to join the marines?" Zephyr watches the young man's face carefully and is not quite sure he likes what he sees. The boy is young, as young he was when he first joined. He's been seeing so many boys around this age enlisting and can't help but feel a little bitter at how so many of them don't understand what they're truly signing up for. They all want to be heroes. Just like him.
However, for all he's sure that the boy in front of him is still green, he's almost sure that this one isn't joining just to be a hero. Not with eyes like those. "I want to bring pirates to justice." The boy replies mildly.
"Is that so?" Zephyr hums, looking straight into those dark eyes that are gazing back at him. "Would you look at that." He thinks, not many people are able to look a former admiral in the eye and not flinch. "Since you're underaged you'll need your parent's permission."
"My parents are dead." For some reason, Zephyr is not surprised." And I have no guardian." The boy pauses for a moment, his gaze flickering to the ground for a moment. "I think I'm all alone."
Zephyr's not sure what to say. He's never been good at comforting people, he's more of the tough love type of man but then again he's not sure this one would even want to be comforted.
"Well welcome aboard chore boy…." Zephyr pauses, realizing he's never got the kids name.
"Wayne…. Wayne Bruce"
"Welcome aboard chore boy Bruce" He reaches out to shake the young man's hand. "Strong grip… This one might go places."
All recruits are put through basic training for a couple of reasons. The first being to give every recruit a chance to learn something that'll help them survive on the wild seas, the second being to evaluate their potential and discover unique talents. The training ranges from combat to survival training or even things like navigation.
Zephyr is only mildly surprised when he sees Bruce is definitely a standout. While he expected the boy to do well, he didn't expect him to outstrip the all the other recruits so much and shatter the learning curve like glass. This of course does not endear the other recruits to the lad. He hears the whispers of words like 'show off and cheater' and he's sure Bruce hears them as well. Not that he believes the boy cares.
The boy continues to surprise Zephyr. Usually most recruits complain about the training or balk at some of the task they're giving but not Bruce. Every order followed to the letter. Every command obeyed unquestioningly.
"What is it that drives you?" He wants to ask the boy but resists the urge because for some reason he doesn't think he'd get a honest answer.
Instead he says, "Congratulations Bruce. You've been moved up one rank. You're now a seaman recruit." No reaction at all. You'd think I told him about today's weathers forecast…. Little brat.
"Since you seem to have some talent, I'll be teaching you a few things myself.
This does gets the boys lips to raise slightly. "Thanks instructor Z"
AN: Poor Brucie... I really did a number on him
1.) You maybe have nothing some strange things going on with Bruce
2.) No, the man who killed his parents was not Blackbeard... He just laughed like him. Lol i just wanted to give Bruce a reason to hate the guy in the future.
3.) I had fun writing this. Haven't decided if I want it to be a oneshot or actually write a complete story about it... I have someone ideas for it. I'll wait and see if anyone even reads this
4.) I've been thinking about making a whole crossover series about characters living or dying in the one piece world. Haha I'm actually considering making one for Cersei first if I do.