She looked over the railing as her father left the ship. Only just to gaze short at the village that laid ahead. Then she hid, so she couldn’t be seen from land. She sat down, looking at the almost empty ship. Her father had told her to stay until he came back and so she did, even though she wanted to feel fast ground under her feet.
“Little Princess. Are you sad?” a man spoke to her.
She looked up, but shook her head. She was not a cry-baby.
“You look messy. Should I help you with your hair?” he asked friendly.
She nodded. He looked at the 5 year-old girl with dark blue eyes, long wild red hair and a too big and dirty grey dress. They had picked her up a couple of weeks ago. The captain hadn’t said who she was at first and she had been frightened. Now only four men were allowed to come near her, without her screaming for the captain. He was one of them and he was left behind to watch over her. He took the girl onto his lab and started to brush her hair.
“Will he buy me a new dress?” she asked.
“Not only a dress, little princess. More clothes and some might be too big now, but you’ll grow and then you will be happy to have some clothes,” the man spoke.
She nodded in understanding. He smiled. She was a smart and bright kid. Still scared, but slowly she got more and more use to be on the ship. It had only been 3 weeks since she came to their ship. The captain had them docked on an Island and left them for four days without a word. As he came back he had the girl with him and some clothes for her. She had looked sad and frightened. First she had been with the captain all day, when she wasn’t sleeping, and then one by one the three highest officers had won her heart.
“Daddy is nice,” she said.
“No doubt there.”
He liked being with her. So pure and innocent, even though the live on a ship wasn’t for kids, especially not a pirate ship, yet she had nowhere to go. And none would let her behind. All would protect her to they died. The captain had told them who she was later that night, when she was asleep and they had all been shocked. He could still remember the argument they all had about her staying. The captain had said it was no way he would leave her somewhere again. And so she had come into their life and was now a part of their crew. She did help him or someone of the others, and she wasn’t that scared anymore. Yet she had not laughed or smiled once. He hoped it would change.
He looked up as he felt eyes on him and saw the captain in front of him. The girl was sitting still, not really looking somewhere. He sat her hair up into two ponytails and gave her the brush. She took it and looked up, meeting her father’s smile. She nodded and went to her room with the brush, before coming out, looking at her father.
“So what do you say, princess? Should we buy you a new dress or two?” her father asked with a smile.
She nodded. Her father sighed and took her hand. He had hoped for another reaction, but it would take some time. He took her along through the village and led her into a store. She tried some different clothes. As she had found one her own size she liked, her father asked if she could keep it on. Then he paid, and gave one of his men, who had followed them shopping, the backs and told him to bring it back to the ship. He then went to the bar with the girl.
She gazed around at the bar. All the pirates she had lived with for 3 weeks were here, except the young woman behind the counter and a boy around her age. She sat at the counter. Her father sat next to her and ordered some juice for her and sake for him.
“Here, young princess,” her father smiled to her.
“Thanks,” she said softly.
“What a sweet and beautiful young girl. Hello there. I’m Makino,” the woman behind the counter introduced herself.
“Hallo Makino. My name is Lianne,” she said politely.
“What a nice name,” Makino smiled.
The boy looked at her, his head slightly tilted. “I’m Luffy. Wanna play?” he asked.
Lianne looked at her father. Her eyes emotionless, which made her father sad. He wanted nothing more than to make her happy and feel safe and free. He smiled to her and gave her a nod, telling her it was okay with him.
“Luffy… Don’t run to far away,” Makino said, as Luffy and Lianne walked outside.
She walked with the boy. He tried to get her to play something or say something, but she just did as he told. Her eyes were empty and she had only followed the boy because her father had told her so. However Luffy didn’t stop trying to make her smile, laugh or just talk. He didn’t give up. She felt relieved as she heard her father’s voice and she walked back to the bar. He smiled to her, but she didn’t react. He made her sit next to him and eat something. She hugged him goodnight, before someone followed her back to the ship and brought her to bed. She closed her eyes and fell asleep. The man gave her one last glare, before closing the door with a sigh. Another day without a smile.
As soon as Luffy and Lianne were gone, Shanks sighed and gazed after them. He knew she only followed the boy because of him. She was too polite and introverted. He hoped she would smile and be carefree, but he also knew what had happened to her and that it will take time. Maybe he should stay here for a while, so they could get to know each other.
“She’ll be fine Shanks. Just give her some time,” Benn said .
“I know, but it hurts me to see her like this,” he sighed.
“It’s not easy being a father. You worry too much about your kid that it hurts. And to see them broken … That is hard,” Yasopp said.
“It is hard Yasopp. I could have …” Shanks trailed off.
“It’s not your fault captain. You did manage to save her right? Don’t worry. We will protect her,” Roo said, biting of a piece of meat.
“He’s right. She is not just your daughter anymore. She is our daughter too,” Benn said.
Shanks smiled. That was good to hear. He gazed towards the door and ordered some sake. Makino gladly gave it to him and turned back to her work, cleaning glasses.
“Your daughter looks beautiful. But she is very shy,” Makino said.
“Thanks. She has just lost her mother, so she is sad,” Shanks said.
“I’m sorry to hear that, but as long as you give her love, she will be fine,” Makino said.
“Thanks for the comfort Makino-san,” Shanks smiled.
“You welcome, captain,” Makino smiled back.
The pirates drank and had fun. Shanks tried not to think too much about his daughter. One of his men was watching her know. Soon the laughter and the relaxed mood got to him and he was having a good time, until he saw the time, asked Makino if she could make some food for Lianne and then he called her, knowing she was closed by. As she came in, with Luffy behind her, she still hadn’t got some spark in her eyes. She ate politely, then hugged him goodnight and followed Yasopp back to the ship.