Bailando con Deseo
Chapter 1 It started as a simple day in the New World for Sapphira Bleu, captain of the Sapphire Pirates and head of her own drug business. Things were going quite well; her crew was doing their conventional rounds, and her siblings were doing their duties around the ship. Nathaniel was managing the workforce, Angeline was examining any job offers dealing with the drug Pavé d'Azur made by her, which has bits of crystals in it. Along with this with Odiele was checking the stock from the ships' storage room, mostly food & water and the drug shipment, to make sure the crew didn't get their hands on it; Valentin was tinkering weapons for future battles. Finally, Mathieu was researching to further his job as the ship's doctor. As for her daughters, they were extremely diligent with training so that when they went out on their own, they were fully ready, though Luciana loved to play more than exercise. She made sure that her daughters didn't have to go through the trauma that she and her late husband Oberon had to endure. She looked down in guilt as she thought about him; why did he have to die? That was the question that burned into her mind ever since they found his body. At first, they thought that it was by scarlet fever or some other disease, but Mathieu did further research and found scars all over his body, coming to a theory that he was tortured brutally like an animal sent to slaughter. Not wanting to destroy her daughters' innocence, especially Luciana, she lied to them, saying that he died of natural causes. It pained her to do it, but Sapphira felt no other choice and had to do it. Upon deep thought, she felt someone tapping her shoulder that snapped her out of it. "Oh, Mathieu, what are you doing here? I thought you were researching in your space downstairs." She said as Sapphira looked at her brother with confusion. He scoffed a bit upon saying, "I finished that over an hour ago; the rest of the time, I was experimenting. That's not why I came up here, and I saw that you were sad and you needed someone to talk to." Sapphira was speechless as he said this; usually, Mathieu was secluded most of the time and only came out when she gave orders. Now, this didn't mean that he is heartless about his older brothers and sisters; it's because he usually operated as a mix between a mad scientist and the doctor, and when he gets that way, it's hard for him to get back to reality. "Tell me something…are you telling me this as my younger brother or the ship's doctor concerned about my health?" she said with a hint of curiosity. He chuckled, saying, "As your brother…and you're thinking about Oberon again, aren't you?" She looked at him with sorrowful eyes, "I miss him too, but it's been ten years. I don't think Oberon would've wanted you heartbroken. He'd want you to hold your head high like you always do." Sapphira looked at her brother and chuckled to herself. "I know, that's not what I was thinking… it's withholding the truth from Zelena and Fleurette. And Luciana, if she learned the truth, she'd be crushed. I know it's wrong, but I didn't want to have them go through the trauma like we did when our father died, and I don't want them to hate me for it." Mathieu looked at his sister with a sad look in his eyes; he knew what she was expressing was the truth, and he had to speak his mind. "You did the right thing, like any mother would, like what our mom did. Granted, I don't have many memories of her, but from what you and big brother have told me, you did what you thought was right and followed your heart." Sapphira just smiled and rubbed her brother's head. "You know what, despite your appearance and aloof nature, you are quite bright and kindhearted sometimes, Mathieu." That embarrassed him, and he huffed a bit at that, "Hey, don't say that too loud… I have a reputation, you know," She just laughed at her brother's fussiness. As she was about to go back to her office, one of the lower members of her crew interrupted them. "Captain, I'm sorry to interrupt, but this just came in from the News Coo, and it's for you, your family, and the top fighters" The two of them looked at each other with curiosity, "Give me the letter and then return to your duties." "Yes, madam." She took the letter and looked at it, and both of them shook with anger. "Odelie, Nathanael, Angeline, & Valentin! Get up here now!!" As Sapphira yelled at the top of her lungs, her siblings suddenly stopped what they were doing and went to where she was. The crew froze for a sec from their work and looked up to see why their captain was furious. Nathanael saw that they stopped working and told them angrily, “Get back to work, or do you want to go down to the brig below!” Without hesitation, the crew returned to work in fear of punishment and the wrath of the captain who issued it. Meanwhile, in Sapphira's main office, she and her siblings looked at the letter in total silence. When she turned the letter over, it revealed a pirate symbol that she hadn't seen in over a decade, the Donquixote Pirates. Upon seeing this, Sapphira wasn't mad, no she was seething with rage at this point, but she did the best she could to control it. 'So now he wants to see me…after all these years on the run, it was only a matter of time that he'd set up a trap for me. I have a feeling this isn't good for my girls and us.' Before she could further express anything on the topic, Sapphira could hear many emotions, mostly disgust and worry, throughout the room, with her siblings as they bickered about the subject. "Out of all the times, why now?! He has no right to invite her!! If I know him, the party will have many sick bastards from all over the underworld. I vote so we don't waste our time with him!!!" Valentin shouted to everyone angrily. Ever since he was a little, he never liked him at all. Valentin always felt something off about him or bad 'vibes .' Due to their past, being poorly beaten by Nobles, they had to flee and during his older sister's early days saw evil like Doflamingo. He wanted him to be locked away in a dark pit and never to be heard from again. "Absolutely. That twisted monster doesn't deserve Sapphira's time or ours. Besides him and his disgusting Executives, there will be other men there who will be checking us, women, out for their sick desires… I'll hide my rider's crop if I have too so to penalize those vile men." piped in her sister Angeline with playful fury. She was used to the company of some men that were a bit crazy and unstable. Still, she always felt uncomfortable around the devil and became protective of her older sister and promised herself to make sure that the men that Sapphira was around weren't like him. "I can't stand him… I want him dead and use his brain for experiments; maybe the source of evil is there. Or how about cutting out his tongue so he doesn't spout horrible lies anymore. So many possibilities….", Mathieu expressed cheerily, smirking like a madman. Unlike the rest of his siblings, he was very young upon meeting Doflamingo, and as he grew older, hearing the stories about his cruelty and sadism from his oldest sister. And from this alone, Mathieu has never liked him, and both avoided him and thought up of many ways to see his end, so he wouldn't have to make both him and his family suffer. "He deserves a horrible death Mathieu, but I don't think his brain is worth it. I don't want to go to the party either. Something seems hugely off Nathanael; what if it's all a ploy to get Sapphira with him even though she refused him all those years ago before Zuria & Fleurette were born. Not only that, he's been eager to meet Luciana for a long while." Odiele said deadpanned after Mathieu said his piece. Odiele, simple and to the point, didn't like him and wanted to throw him in a pit full of venomous snakes as well as the rest of his crew for the emotional anguish that they've put them through. "Hold on, Odiele, it is an invitation, though. If we don't go, other pirates and the guests will get the impression that the Sapphire Pirates are weak and are cowards. Not only that, Doflamingo will be suspicious and catch on, follow us back to our ship and the worst-case scenario of him kidnapping Zelena, Fleurette, and Luciana." Nathanael said carefully to his younger sister. He didn't like Doflamingo; additionally, he didn't want his sister to go through any more heartbreak due to his brother-in-law's death due to him being the eldest. As the others argued, Sapphira felt her rage begin to boil over as crystals started to appear all over the room. They saw this and ceased to see what their sister had to say on this vital matter. The crystals began to die down when Sapphira took a deep breath. "Why, out of all times, would he invite me? He knows that I refused to give him the rights to the drug, as well as I rejected his offer to join him. He's been obsessed with me ever since and hasn't stopped harassing me. " As she verbally expressed this, the others looked on but didn't say anything. "And to make matters worse, he's very aware of my daughters, particularly Lulu. He's very dedicated to recruiting them as he did with Baby 5 and Buffalo, but I wouldn't have them serve that broken man." Nathanael nodded in agreement, "Indeed, now we have to prepare for the invitation. Come on—" Just as he was going to culminate his sentence, they heard three voices coming in the door; it was Zelena and Fleurette who'd just completed training, and Luciana who followed them after some little training of her own. Everyone looked nervous, but Sapphira put her hand up. "Hey mom, we're just done with training—oh, Mom, everybody…what's up?" Zelena said with a surprised look. "Sis, what's going on—oh, hello?" Fleurette verbally expressed quietly. "What's going on Mom, I've never seen everyone in your office like this before," Luciana said curiously. Sapphira didn't say anything when her daughters came in. It was like that for a few awkward seconds, but Sapphira decided to speak up about the matter. "Girls, come in. We were talking about an important matter." They didn't say a thing but closed the door behind them, curious about what the subject was. Sapphira then had to explain the situation to them gently. "I know you two have some questions—"Her eldest daughter Zelena, who is the most stubborn and opinionated of the three, spoke up. "Hell yeah, we have questions; like why is everyone in here and not on deck with the others?!" As she said this, Fleurette, the shyest of the three, held back her sister. "Sis, please calm down… Mom is trying to explain the situation. And don't swear in front of Luciana; at least try to set a good example." Zelena looked at Fleurette, still vexed, but calmed down to hear what their mother was going to say. "Thank you, Fleurette. As I was saying, this letter here it's an invitation to a masquerade ball in the kingdom of Dressrosa." Her daughters looked at each other with mystification, "What's the problem of that? It seems like something fun." Fleurette said with curiosity. Zelena nodded in agreement, "Yeah, I'm not a fan of that sort of thing, but it seems interesting." "A ball? With pretty dresses that sound cool!" Luciana said with great enthusiasm, completely unaware. Sapphira, along with her siblings, examined each other with worry, and just as one of them was about to say something, but she raised her hand to stop them. "Indeed, usually it would be a joyous occasion, but it's the host that makes your aunts & uncles and I a touch… hesitant," Sapphira said, with clarity in her voice. Zelena, Fleurette, and Luciana looked at their mother and then their aunts & uncles after hearing that; both were stunned to see both their mother and the others with looks mixed with disgust, worry, and hate. Fleurette, wanting to break the ice, asked nicely, "Who is the guest? It's not a commoner's party from the looks of the invite." Sapphira hesitated for a second and took a deep breath. She has to tell them that it's Doflamingo, a man that is so ingrained in her memory that it's impossible to ignore; not only that but the biological father of her youngest, she was going to reveal his name to her. "Girls, how familiar are you with the current pirate crews in the New World?" Upon their mother asking this question, Zelena chimed up, raising her hand, "I am! I only read the Coo when its other crews besides us are doing juicy stuff. Let's see theirs the Buggy Pirates, Drake Pirates, Heart Pirates, Kid Pirates, Whitebeard Pirates when he was still alive, Apoo Pirates, and oh the Straw Hat Pirates!!" Fleurette nodded as Zelena stated this, "Indeed, don't forget the other Yonko crews like Kaido and Big Mom. There were other crews before the New World, but they're not as cool." Saying with a smile on her face. "What about crews that aren't around? They're just as important." Luciana said with a pout on her face. As her daughters were innocently listing pirate crews, she also chimed in, "Indeed those are the most famous crews as of late. However, there is one crew that was famous back when I first started." The girls looked on with curiosity, a crew that their mother has never told them about until today. The word confused didn't match what they were thinking at that moment. "How familiar are you girls with the Shichibukai?" "Well, gee…not that good. Ever since the War, the lineup has changed a bit. Mihawk is still in there, Kuma, the Pirate Empress, and oh there's that guy with the pink feathers, forget his name, though." Zelena said, shrugging her arms. "Mother, why are you beating around the bush this isn't like you," Fleurette said with some worry in her voice, wondering why their mother is not telling them; Luciana had the same concern and nodded in agreement. "One of the current Shichibuaki is the guest of accolade, Donquixote Doflamingo is his name," Sapphira said with some disgust as she tapped her right index finger on her desk. "WHAT?!" sounded the girls, thoroughly shocked by the news. They were invited to a party by not only one of the Government dogs, where their mother has often stated whom she detests more than anything but the same man who caused their mother a lot of emotional stress? "Indeed, he's also the 'ruler' of the kingdom we're going to," Sapphira said using air quotations on the word ruler. "I've had a run-in with him before, as I've told you and your sisters many times before." The three looked at each other with worry and horror. "Mom, what if it's a trap? I remember you and dad telling us about this guy because he's like the devil. Evil and all that shit." Zelena said. "Zelena, shhhhh! What if there's a bug in the room? They could hear us as we speak. And stop swearing!" Fleurette stated as she grabbed her sister's arm to try to calm her down. "Now I remember where I've seen this Jolly Roger before… I remember when Dad showed us pictures of other Rogers to make sure if we got caught, we'd know who it was. Out of the bunch, he showed us. He told us that Doflamingo's crew was the most dangerous and sadistic of the crews you met. "Luciana looked at them with some added shock, "Yeah, from what little Mom has told me about him… he's bad news…to think someone like that is my father." "Hey, he may be your father, but he didn't see you grow up; our dad Oberon did," Fleurette said, hugging her youngest sister, in which Luciana smiled. Sapphira smiled at Fleurette, so bright and yet shy at the same time. "Yes, it's the same man. As you know, he's very prominent not just in the Navy as a Shichibuaki and other pirates but also in the Underworld. As your aunts & uncles use aliases when doing smuggling, he goes by one by the name Joker. Remember that name when dealing with people connected with him." The three nodded, not knowing what to do or say especially, Luciana. The host is someone from the Underworld, not only that but someone dangerous. Sapphira states as she perceives her daughters shaken by this news. "He's sly and always scheming. I'm telling you this as both your captain and as your mother, be on your guard at all times when we are at this party; don't fall for everything he says and be very clever with your responses." After Sapphira stated who the host was and instructions on what to do at the party, the room was quiet. So quiet you could probably drop a pin, and everyone in the room could hear it. The girls stood there, both scared and yet ready for what they heard. After a minute passed, Sapphira wasted no time to issue orders to prepare for the battle ahead; "Nathanael, order the crew to hoist the sails and set a course for Dressrosa. Valentin, prepare the weapons for when something goes wrong. Angeline, I want you and Odiele to keep an eye out for the top Executives; knowing them, they will make sure we'll fall for the trap. And Mathieu, I want you to prepare medical supplies; a fight might break out, and we'll need medical aid if needed. Everyone, tell the crew and our fighters to prepare a backup plan if things do indeed go wrong. Tell the twins to look behind the scenes so that we can be ready. Let's not waste any more time, now move out!!" "Yes, madam!" her siblings thundered and went quickly to their stations. As Sapphira was going to prepare, she had felt her hand grabbed. "Mom, I'm still scared…from what you've told us…he seems very scary," said Fleurette, who started to cry. Sapphira held her daughter and comfort her, "I know, sweetheart, but I promise you and your sisters aren't going anywhere, okay. How about you all go and get ready, it's a party after all, and I'll tell you more tips." Fleurette looked at her mom and smiled, "Okay, sis come on… let's get going." Zelena looked at her sister, and before she went while she picked up Luciana and she said to her mother, "Mom, we're going to get through this. I have faith in you." As her daughters went out the door, Sapphira had to withhold some tears when Luciana stated that promise. If they only knew what type of man he indeed was, a broken man who was beyond repair and one of the few who could see through the sadistic mask that she put up in public; to the core of what she was and that frightened her. Since she refused to join him as his Queen, he's been chasing after her and her daughters. "Oh Oberon, things are getting out of hand…our girls are getting thrown into a pit of vipers. Despite that, I know you would be very proud of them. Zelena has your grit and tenacity, and sweet little Fleurette is still shy but grows in confidence every day. And little Lulu, even if she weren't your blood, you treated her much better than that demon of a man ever could. I know if you were here, you would tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself and not let it get to me, and I won't give him that pleasure again. We'll figure out a way out of this, and that monster won't have the last laugh this time. If this goes on until I'm on my deathbed, so be it. So Doflamingo, what scheme will you do this time, cause whatever you have in store… I'll be ready." Sapphira looked on to the sea as she stated this, ready to go into the pit and see what he had in store.