DISCLAIMER: One Piece, and all characters of not created solely for this fanfic are the property of Eiichiro Oda and anyone else who owns them.
AUTHOR'S NOTE (June 20, 2007): I recently did a re-write of this fic. No content was removed or changed too dramatically. I mostly just re-typed it and cleaned up wordings and typos I spotted now that I had missed then. The new version, due to a bit of rearranging of events, has lessened. But I plan to only remove chapters that had no reviews on them and replace the ones that did with the proper events.
SITTING ON THE WAVES
CHAPTER 1: EXAMINATION
In a tavern, a man and woman sat together. They had no connection. He had his goals and she had hers. It just so happened that their goals happened to intertwine on this occasion.
"So, have you done it?" the man asked.
"Yes, I have." the woman answered, "The effects have started, but it will be gradual."
"I don't see why I couldn't just do it all at once like I usually do."
"It's not possible. It would attract too much unwanted attention this time. We can't risk that. Not with these people. We'd best be careful if this is going to work out like it should."
"Yes." the woman said, "You're right."
They both looked out a nearby window. It had a great view of the harbor. Docked there was a pirate ship. A caravel decorated on the main sail and flag with a skull and crossbones wearing a straw hat.
----------In the vast equatorial sea called the Grand Line, Redisca village was known as "the town of second chances." Any could enter the village, no matter their past deeds, so long as they behaved themselves. Even pirates were allowed to come and go as they pleased. The pirates, generally not stupid enough to lose a good thing, never harmed the village. Not when sober, anyway. So nobody particularly cared about the arrival of pirate Monkey D. Luffy and his one hundred million Berry reward. Nor did they think anything of Luffy's crewmates, Roronoa Zoro and Nico Robin, who possessed sixty and seventy-nine million Berry rewards respectively.
For the Straw Hat pirate crew, this was the perfect place to relax for a little while. They had learned from the villagers that the Log Pose, required for Grand Line navigation, required a few weeks to set itself to this location and begin pointing to a new island. With no worries ahead of them, the crew took full advantage of this time.
On the deck of the Going Merry the crew's doctor, human-reindeer Tony Tony Chopper, had convinced the crew to do for a while, but which the crew had been generally too busy for.
"Ah! That's cold!"
"I'm sorry, but that's how a stethoscope's supposed to be." Chopper replied to his patient.
Chopper was giving the entire crew full physicals. Currently he was examining Nami, the crew's navigator, measuring her heartbeat with the stethoscope under her T-shirt.
"I know that…" she said, "I've just always hated those things. Ever since I was little."
Chopper removed the stethoscope and jotted down some notes on a clipboard.
"Okay, we're done."
"Finally!" Nami exclaimed, "I don't see why this was so important. Didn't you do this when you first joined up?"
"Some basic measurements, yes; like height and weight." Chopper answered, his usual shyness absent as he talked about the field he was most confident in, "This is the first chance I've had for real thorough examinations."
Nami snuck a look at Chopper's clipboard. It had several papers clipped to it, each with information regarding the other five members of the Straw Hat crew as well as Nami herself. Still, much as she understood the practicality of having detailed records of the crew's health on hand; she would much rather have been looking through shops in the village. They didn't have anything spectacular, but there were a lot of good traveling clothes, and much of Nami's wardrobe had begun to wear out with all the crew's adventures.
As Chopper began reviewing his notes, Nami left the Merry to start her trek to the village clothing stores. She wondered if she could meet up with Robin on the way or, failing that, Luffy, whose almost pathological inability to lie made him a good judge of how she looked in a given outfit.
Meanwhile, Chopper had noticed something odd in his notes. Something didn't add up. A set of measurements now and one from the first time he'd taken them were different. Chopper knew that both should be accurate, he was very careful both times he took them. This meant it was quite strange that the two numbers wouldn't match up.
Chopper wouldn't have been bothered if the current number was higher than the old. But since when do humans get shorter in height at age eighteen?
AUTHORS NOTE: The "Luffy-as-clothing-judge" joke is not mine. But instead comes from "Drabbles" by Icka M. Chif. It is used with permission.