A/N: This is an independent story that is completely separate from my other ongoing Fanfic (Green Heart).
I do not own One Piece. Just this OC and Pygmy.
I will be sticking solely to canon so no fillers and no original arcs. This starts off with Water 7 and I'll leave it up to Oda-sensei to see where it ends.
Please read, enjoy, and leave a review!
Ch 1 - The First Employee of Galley-La
- 9 years ago - 3 years after the Puffing Tom was built and 9 years until Straw Hats come to Water 7 -
"So what seems to be the trouble?" 29 year old Iceberg asked coolly as he stuffed his hands into his beige pants pockets. His focus was not on the pudgy, old stationmaster, who had called him over. No, Iceberg's attention was on what was behind Puddy-san. Iceberg's eyes scanned over the sea train, the Puffing Tom, as crowds of waiting passengers stared at him expectantly to solve a problem he had yet to figure out.
"It's like I said," Puddy-san exclaimed, throwing his hands wildly in the air. He was in a frenzy because this delay would inevitably cause a snowball effect to the rest of his well-crafted schedule. "It won't start!"
"Tch, obviously…" a high but snarky voice interjected from the sidelines.
Iceberg perked his ears and looked over at the source. He saw a little girl with a leather aviator helmet that was too large for her head. It covered her light brown hair that stopped right at her shoulders. On top of the helmet sat shiny, metal goggles with leather straps. She wore dark denim overalls with a grey tank top underneath and heavy, leather boots. She had her arms crossed and was leaning against a pillar, with an annoyed look on her sunken face. She didn't look like she had had a decent meal in months and she was dirty all over.
Large pliers were in her hand. She had a white cloth laid out in front of her feet and on the sheet, she had placed small,metal figures made of wire . A torn piece of cardboard stood next to the cloth and it had "7 bellis" scrawled on it in bold, black ink. The penmanship was horrible.
"Hey, you brat!" Puddy-san shouted as he marched over towards her, "I thought I told you that you couldn't sell your junk here. This is a train station, not a flea market!"
"You know what's wrong with it?" Iceberg called out to her, stopping Puddy-san right in his tracks. The station master looked over at Iceberg in protest but was ignored. Iceberg's attention was solely on the girl and she reciprocated his eye contact with just as much focus.
She smirked at his question. "No."
Iceberg rolled his eyes and started to turn away from the girl but then she said something that made him pause. "But I have a theory."
He turned back towards her with his eyebrow raised. "Oh?"
The girl scratched her nose. "The steam sounded off when the train first pulled in. The pitch was low. I think there's a blockage in the smokebox. You might want to check the valves."
"Oh my…" Iceberg said as he stared at her with amusement. "You know trains?"
"I know boilers," she replied.
His eyes fell on the metal figures and he squatted in front of her mat. He picked up one of the figures and brought it to his eye level.
"Hey, Iceberg!" Puddy-san protested, "Don't entertain this brat or else she'll be coming by again!"
Iceberg continued to ignore the stationmaster. "Not bad metalwork, kid. You're pretty good with the pliers," he mused as he noticed how intricately the wires were wrapped around each other to create details of muscles and even hair.
"Tch," the girl scoffed, "It puts food on the table. Are you going to buy one or what?"
"No," Iceberg said simply and he put the figure down. He stood back up and pretended not to see the little girl glower at him. He turned to the station master, "I'll take a look and see what is going on."
He headed straight towards the engine room. As he walked he called back towards the girl, "Hey, kid!"
"What?" she growled back.
"I'm not going to buy your toys...but if you're right, I'll give you a job."
There was a second of stunned silence before the girl responded. "What's the job?"
"Doesn't matter if you're wrong," Iceberg replied as he boarded the train with his toolbox in hand.
Thirty minutes later he popped out of the engine room with dirt and grime streaked across his scruffy face. He held a large trash bag in one of his hands as he briskly walked towards an impatient Puddy-san. Iceberg ran a hand over his straggly blue hair, pushing it away from his face and he frowned at the stationmaster.
"There was blockage in the chimney. Apparently, someone has been throwing their trash in there, thinking the steam would just blow it out." His eyes narrowed at the station master, who immediately started to sweat. "That's not just going to stop the train, that's also going to pollute the sea water. This train that I helped build is a mode of transportation and not a garbage chute. It's one thing to call me down to fix a train issue but it's another issue altogether when you call me down to fix something that could be avoided. My time is precious and so is the Puffing Tom, you know?"
"I'm sorry, sir!" Puddy-san cried, "It won't happen again!"
"It better not," Iceberg said calmly and then he turned towards the girl, who looked at him triumphantly.
"So I was right. What's the job?"
"You want to spend your life making toys, kid?" he asked back.
"No," she replied tersely, "Now what's the job?"
"I always need a good set of hands on the docks," he said, "How would you like to learn how to build a ship?"
"Tch," she scoffed. She broke eye contact and looked down at her pockets. She pulled out a new pair of wires from one and started to shape them with her pliers, "Pass."
Her rude attitude had no effect on Iceberg and he chuckled. "So what is it that you want to do?"
"I want to make weapons," she replied without looking up so she didn't notice that her comments made Iceberg tense up, "I want to make weapons for ships."
"Why? To fight Sea Kings?" he asked cautiously.
"Tch. Do I look like I'm four years old?" she retorted.
"No, you look more like you're 7," he replied back.
She paused for a moment in the middle of forming an arm for her figurine. "I guess I'm 7 then," she stated before continuing on with her project.
"Do you not know?" Iceberg teased.
"No, I don't," she said too seriously for it to be a joke. Her eyes were on the wires in her hand so she didn't catch the surprised look that came over Iceberg's face.
"So why do you want to arm ships?" he asked, more gently this time.
She sighed and lowered her hands. She glared at him, annoyed that he was wasting her time with all these questions, "I want to help the people who are defenseless, okay?! Now leave me alone!"
Iceberg was not deterred by this little girl. In fact, he was very intrigued by her. "But wouldn't making weapons give people more of a chance to attack others?"
"If I don't build weapons, others will. So I might as well make something that will help even the odds, don't you think?" she asked.
Iceberg was speechless. The child had too much resolve and determination in her words for this to be just a mere flight of fancy. There was something that was driving her. "Where are your parents?"
"Don't have them."
"You must have otherwise you wouldn't exist," he pointed out.
"I don't have them now," she said exasperatedly.
"Did they die?"
"I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?'
She clenched her fist around her pliers and wire figure, misshaping it in the process. "I said I don't know!" she screamed at him, "I don't remember, okay?! So stop asking!"
Iceberg pondered her words for a moment. Then, his hand was on top of her helmet and he rubbed her head with a chuckle. It made her aviator helmet fall off center. "Oh my...What a predicament. You don't know who you are but you know you want to make weapons...And I want to rebuild this town and need sturdy hands to help me build it."
He lifted his hand and grinned down at her, "So what do you say we help each other out?"
She scowled back at him and readjusted her headgear.
"You can't properly arm a ship if you don't know the structure of one," he pointed out.
Suddenly her scowl left her face and her eyes widened, realizing just the truth in his statement.
Iceberg chuckled to himself. She might be a very competent child but she was still a child. He knelt down so they were eye level. "The way I see it, you either stay here and continue selling toys to make ends meet or you come with me and make a decent living building ships. You'll also have access to the best equipment you can get your hands on."
"Why are you doing this?" Her voice had gone quiet and her expression had softened.
"Because I want to be the mayor," he responded, "And I want to bring out the best of this town."
"Tch," she scoffed back, "You can't be the mayor. You don't even look like one. Don't mayors wear suits and have their hair combed?"
"What do you know about mayors?" he asked, "You don't even know who your own parents are."
"Enough to know you don't look like one," she shot back and she crossed her arms stubbornly, "I've made my way through enough towns to see a couple of them."
Iceberg tilted his head. "So you're not from here?"
"What's your name?"
"Whatever you want to call me."
"So you don't know?"
Iceberg's eyes fell on the cardboard sign at his feet. He then looked back up at the girl. "Well, you're in Water 7...You look 7…" He held up the cardboard sign next to her face, "How about I call you Nana?"
"Fine," she said with a shrug. She dropped the wire figure in her hand and stuck out her dirty palms towards Iceberg. "So do I have the job or what?"
He grinned and shook her hand. "Nana of Water 7, you are officially the first employee of the Galley-La Company."
- 3 years later, 6 years after Puffing Tom was built and 6 years before Straw Hats come to Water 7 -
(Iceberg - 32, Nana - 10-ish)
"Don't be like that," Paulie chided as he looked sternly at the willful child, "A kid should obey their elders."
Mizu Nana raised an eyebrow and folded her arms across her chest. "Well, this kid won't. At least not to you."
Paulie grabbed her by the ear and angrily dragged her towards Iceberg, who was sitting on a large crate, observing their entire conversation. "Iceberg-san! Can you please discipline your apprentice? You need to teach her some manners."
"Ow, ow, ow!" Nana winced as he tugged at her ear. She glared at him and stared defiantly back at the foreman, "Technically, I started in this company before you so I'm your elder."
"What?!" Paulie exclaimed and he dropped his grip on her. He pointed accusingly at her and then looked to Iceberg for support, "Do you hear the mouth on this girl?!"
Iceberg shrugged and picked his nose. "This is what happens when you raise a girl in a dock full of shipwrights. What did you expect?"
Paulie redirected his finger towards the mayor of Water 7. "I expect her to act more like her legal guardian!"
Iceberg laughed. "Like that would ever happen."
"Tch. Talking about manners," Nana scoffed as she rubbed her aching ear, "Instead of wishing me happy birthday, you ask me for money to pay off your gambling debts. What the hell kind of manners is that?!"
"It's not your real birthday," Paulie snarled back, "It's just the day that Iceberg-san was generous enough to legally adopt you and gave you a legit name. Besides, I know you get the same salary as me! A kid shouldn't have that much money."
"And a grown-ass bastard," Nana retorted, "Shouldn't have that little!"
"WATCH YOUR MOUTH!" Paulie snapped.
"Watch your wallet!" Nana seethed, matching the intensity of his glare.
"Enough, enough," Iceberg said from his seat, "You two-"
A loud crashing sound came from a pile of crates behind him. Iceberg got to his feet and coolly walked around to see what was going on. Paulie and Nana hurriedly rushed towards him to see for themselves.
"Oh my..." Iceberg said with a bemused look on his face.
A reddish gold puppy with white markings had backed into a crate and had bumped it so hard that it had sent some of the top crates crashing down to the floor beside him. The puppy's puffy hair was sticking straight out and it was trembling in fear. A tiny, white mouse stood in front of it chattering angrily at it while holding a large hunk of bread. The puppy whimpered and pushed up against the crate even more, frantically trying to get away from the small mouse.
"The dog...is scared of the mouse?" Paulie blinked his eyes to make sure he was seeing it correctly. He roared with laughter at the sight.
Nana pushed Paulie aside, knocking him down to the floor, and casually picked up the puppy by its neck. She held it up so that they were nose to nose. The puppy shivered a little before opening its eyes. Nana's pale green eyes stared into his round brown ones. It blinked. She did too. Then, he stuck his tongue out and licked her nose. She did too. They were both quiet for a moment, both taking each other in.
Suddenly, the puppy was taken away from her and she looked up to see that Paulie was dangling it over her head. "So you like this puppy, huh?" he said with a mischievous grin, "Fine. I'll sell it to you!"
Nana was floored. "But it's not even yours to sell!"
"I'm holding it, aren't I?"
Out of nowhere, Nana hit Paulie right in the knee caps with a hammer no bigger than her own fist. His leg gave out and he sank to the floor with a painful groan.
"What the hell, Nana?!" he shouted as he dropped the puppy. Nana caught it smoothly in her arms. She reached into her pocket and threw some cash at Paulie, who squirmed on the floor and clutched his injured knee.
"For your hospital bill," she said with a cheeky grin.
"Nana…" Iceberg's voice had turned stern and serious. She looked up at him and was surprised to see that he had put the mouse in his shirt pocket. It was still eating his piece of bread. "We do not hit our colleagues."
"But-" Nana started to say but Iceberg raised his eyebrow.
"Nana…?" he tried again.
Nana took a deep breath and turned begrudgingly to Paulie. "Sorry," she mumbled.
Iceberg extended his hand, palms out, toward her, "Now give me your hammer."
"But-" this time her protest was much louder and filled with horror, "But, Icy, I made it myself!"
Nana scowled and begrudgingly held out her hammer. She dropped it in Iceberg's hand, who was slightly caught off guard by how heavy it was despite it's tiny size. He kept his face composed as he confiscated it from her. Then his attention turned to the puppy in her arms. "So what are you going to name it?"
Nana looked down at the puppy, "I don't know." She then eyed the mouse in his pocket, "What are you going to name him, Icy?"
"Whale," he said.
Nana wrinkled her nose. "What kind of name is that?!"
"A whale is the largest mammal in the world. I think it's funny to name a small mouse that, don't you?" Iceberg replied.
"Oh," she said and picked up the puppy again. She tilted her head to the side and she bounced him in the air a couple of times to gauge its weight. "You're pretty heavy...but you're still just a puppy which means you're going to get really big…"
She thought long and hard and finally a small grin crossed her face. "Pygmy."
The puppy wagged its tail and its ears perked up.
"Pygmy!" Nana repeated.
"Yip! Yip!" the puppy barked back.
Nana held up the puppy triumphantly over her head and she grinned at Iceberg. "His name is Pygmy."
- 6 years later, 12 years after Puffing Tom was built and a month before Straw Hats come to Water 7 -
(Iceberg - 38, Nana - 16-ish)
Nana huffed and crossed her arms indignantly as she sat in front of Iceberg's desk. She had her feet resting on his table and she glowered past them towards Iceberg himself, who was solemnly shuffling some papers. Nana waited impatiently for Iceberg to finish his lecture.
She adjusted the goggles and aviator helmet sitting on top of her long, chestnut hair. She then reached over to pet Pygmy on the head, who was sitting next to her on the floor. Pygmy was eye level to her. It turned out that Nana was right. Pygmy not only turned out to be a big dog but he had grown to the size of a sturdy pony. He even had a small leather saddle strapped to his back.
Nana, in turn, had also grown a lot over the years. She was about 5'8 with her legs slightly longer in proportion to the rest of her body. She wore dark leather pants with pockets and pouches lined up and down her legs. She wore a loose white blouse with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows. Her blouse was cinched together by a leather corset. She wore fingerless leather gloves on each hand and dark brown boots that stretched to right below her knees.
On the other side of her leaned a large diagonal peen hammer with it's head the size of her own and the handle as long as her torso. Both the hammer head and the handle were made of a heavy, dark metal. Every now and then she would lovingly reach out to touch it's handle and give it a slow twirl as it rested on it's head.
"Like I said, Nana," Iceberg finally spoke, "This needs to stop happening. We need to do what the customer has paid us to do."
"He paid for a cannon, I gave him a cannon!" Nana retorted.
"You gave him a cannon that won't fire cannonballs," Paulie exclaimed angrily from the chair next to her. He was the one that reported her. Nana just knew it. He was always the first one to discipline her.
Nana's turned and glared at him fiercely. "I gave him a cannon that could catch incoming cannonballs," she corrected, "Isn't that so much better?" Her eyes lit up. "You see, I put in the base of the cannon a magnet that-"
"Nana…?" Iceberg's warning tone made Nana grimace. She slowly sat back in her chair.
"Yes, Icy?" she mumbled.
"Ahem," Iceberg coughed, "Remember how we said you wouldn't call me by your childhood nickname for me when we're in a professional setting?"
"Sorry," she mumbled again, "Yes, Iceberg…"
"SAN! Iceberg-SAN!" Paulie corrected.
"It's okay," Iceberg said with a laugh as he held up a palm to Paulie to show him that he didn't take offense. He then put his hand down on the table. His face grew serious again and he pushed the paper towards Nana. "This is for you. Your punishment."
"Tch," Nana scoffed and she dangled the paper between two fingers, "What are you going to do? Fine me?"
"No, worse," Iceberg said with a wry smile, "You're going on vacation."
Nana reacted as if he had stabbed her. She clutched her gut and looked at him in horror. "What?! For how long?!"
"A MONTH?!" Nana leapt to her feet and slammed her palms down on his table, "You can't do this to me! What about the orders? My workshop?!"
"I'll have someone else cover for you for the month but until then you are not allowed to go into your office or touch any of your tools in there."
Nana was seething. "What the hell? Just because I didn't give some bastard exactly what he wanted?"
"Nana! Language! Act like a lady!" Paulie cried, almost spitting out his cigar.
"He was a customer," Iceberg said, ignoring Nana's foul mouth, "We can only give our customer our opinion and suggestions. We cannot make the decision for them. That's what being our customer means."
"Then why can't we be the customer?" Nana grumbled.
"That doesn't even make sense!" Paulie shouted exasperatedly.
"You don't make sense," Nana snapped back.
"Woof woof!" Pygmy chimed in.
"Oh my...Tempers," Iceberg said calmly, "Nana, I want you to take this time off to reflect on Galley-La's customer service and your role as our weapons manufacturer. I also want you to take the time off because there's this festival two islands over that's going on in a week and-"
"SO THIS IS ALL BECAUSE YOU WANT A VACATION?!" Paulie and Nana shouted incredulously at him at the same time.
A/N: There is some debate on how to spell Iceberg (vs. Iceburg) but Iceberg is listed as his official English name so I will be going with that. :)