hwc: Law from One Piece (One Piece - Law)
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Title: Nothing to Choose – Part Seven
Fandom: One Piece
Pairing/Characters: Brook
Genre/Category: Gen, what if?
Rated: PG-13
Word count: 498
Warnings: Implied character death
Spoilers/Setting: Spoilers up to the end of Thriller Bark
Disclaimer: One piece does not belong to me.

Summary: A sum is made up of many parts. Take one part away and the sum changes. The Strawhat Pirates are made up of nine members. Take one member away...

A/N: Thanks goes to Lady Emzebel for the awesome beta! If it hadn't been for her, this chapter wouldn't have been posted for quite some time. Thank you! <3 Any remaining mistakes are mine.
Feedback is appreciated as always.

Previous part

---- ----

It ends like this

“May I see your panties?”

Brook waited, soaking the cloth in the basin of ice water beside the bed before gently returning it to its place on Nami's forehead.

“Of course not!”, he laughed, “what a stupid question! I shall never ask again. Cross my heart and hope to die! Though I'm already dead!”

Harsh breathing answered him, so Brook stood and, with a last look at the woman, left the women's quarter. Outside he stretched, listening to the sound of the waves, the wind, Franky's cough-- Silly him, how could he be able hear? He had no ears to hear with, therefore he couldn't hear.

He walked down the deck, and as he did so he was thankful that he couldn't hear, couldn't hear Franky's painful coughs. But then Franky came into view, his face pale and his eyes blood-shot, and how ridiculous would it be for a skeleton to see? He had no eyes, therefore he could not see.

“How-” Franky started, but a coughing fit interrupted him. Brook contemplated not-hearing him. “How's Nami?”

Franky looked at him, and the blood in his veins – though he had none – froze as Brook finally admitted to himself that Franky's cybernetic parts would not protect him from the illness that had befallen the rest of their nakama any longer.

“Her condition has not changed,” he said, and wished that he could not have seen her fighting a losing battle against her own body, that he could not have heard Franky's harsh coughing, the first sign that he, too, had fallen prey to this illness, that he could not have smelled the stench of death brought forth by this disease that had invaded their once lively ship.

“Yeah, neither have theirs,” Franky said with a nod towards the men's quarters, and as he turned away to cough into his arm, both pretended not to have seen the red stains that appeared on his shirt sleeve. “I'm gonna make some more soup,” he rasped, and Brook nodded.

When Franky was out of sight, Brook looked up to their pirate flag, the cheerful jolly roger dancing in the wind, and he decided that a song was in order. Everything was better with music. So he got his violin, and stood before the guardrail, letting the tiny drops of water splash his face whenever the endless waves hit the side of the Sunny.

So many songs to choose from, he thought, so many songs he had played and sung with his new nakama. Bink's Sake, he decided, the first song they had ever sung together, and he remembered a tiny, cheerful reindeer that could have saved his nakama, had he not been taken from them an eternity ago. He played.

And played.

And as he felt the wetness on his cheeks he realised that no matter what song he began to play, he would always finish in a dirge.

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November 2012

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