I said I'd get this up by yesterday, but, oh well. A happy late birthday to Zoro!
Off To Neverland
In Which The World Goes Screwy
"I've just decided. I'm going insane. Do you wanna come with?"
It was a peaceful night, the waves gently rocking the caravel back and forth, the stars drifting lazily across the dark sky, the warm, salty breeze gliding over the deck... the perfect night to get some long needed rest. So what was their navigator doing awake, spouting nonsense?
"Umm, Nami? What...?"
Had she heard him come up on deck? He didn't think his footsteps were that loud.
Leaning against the rail of the ship, facing the ocean, she giggled slightly.
Oh no. That was bad. Had she gotten into the booze? That wasn't like Nami at all. Had something bad happened when he wasn't looking? As likely as that was on this ship, he suspected that might not be the case. Well, he would never figure out what Nami was thinking if he didn't know exactly what he was thinking.
She giggled again, only this time if was more of a laugh than a noise.
"You think I'm drunk or something, right? Nah, I'm totally sober. And serious."
She turned to face him. "Do you want to be crazy? You know, insane in the head?"
He frowned slightly. What was she talking about?
"Can you explain a little better? I don't understand what you're asking..."
She sighed, looking down, orange locks hanging over her face, hiding her eyes. Then she looked back up at him, smiling.
"I guess you wouldn't, would you? Oh well... Can't be helped." She stretched her arms out, yawning. "Well, I'm going to bed. 'Night Usopp."
That caught him by surprise. What did she mean, he wouldn't understand? And she looked so calm, like she said stuff like that everyday. She turned and started walking back to her cabin.
"Wuh- Wait! What do you-Hey, stop!" He leaped after her and grabbed her arm before she could disappear into the ship. She turned around and patiently waited for him to let go.
His arm fell to his side, and the sudden burst of energy was gone as quickly as it came, leaving him with nothing to say.
She grinned at him, a thief's grin, once more sensing what he felt.
"Don't worry about it," she said reassuringly, "It's nothing important, I was just wondering."
She patted his shoulder afectionatly, calmly smiling. There were so many different ways Nami could smile, it was almost unnerving. "Get some sleep, okay?"
He sighed, relinquishing. "Alright. Goodnight Nami."
He laid awake in bed some twenty minuets later. She had definitely been abducted by aliens. It was up to him, Captain Usopp, Brave Warrior Of The Sea, to help her! Nothing was worse than being abducted by aliens. Save maybe being abducted by dinosaur people from the lost underwater city of Gersant. That would suck. Either way, Nami was in danger, and that was not acceptable. But how to help...?
Still brainstorming, he slowly drifted off to sleep with the gentle rocking of the ship and the familiar snores and mutterings of his mates.
"Is it... a giraffe."
"No! Try again, you'll get it!"
"Hmm... it's... a barrel. With sails? And a steering wheel. And a little monkey hanging off the side with a drumstick. No wait.. that's me. With two swords out, right?"
"Yeah! ZORO GOT IT! Woohoo!"
Luffy wrote "20" on the top of the scrap paper and handed it to Zoro.
"I've almost got more points than you, you know," laughed Nami, "You'll never beat me." A pile of scribbled-on papers sat next to her, each with a different number score. Zoro ignored her and set his new aquisition on his own small pile.
"Ah... grihh... done! Sanji, your turn!"
"I told you, I'm not playing!" The cook shoved away the paper. "Give it to Usopp!"
Luffy looked at him sulkingly for a moment, before passing the paper to the sharpshooter.
He took it and stared. Uh. Hmm. Was that... an arm? And that sort of looked like a tail, if he kind of squinted and tilted his head to the left... But to the right that part looked like a building... Ah! Got it.
"A dinosaur person from the lost underwater city of Gersant!" he exclaimed proudly.
"That's great Usopp! How'd you know! That's 78 points!"
Zoro and Nami's jaws dropped. "What?" The highest score anyone had gotten so far was 34!
"I guess I just know everything in the universe, that's all. It's not my fault you guys are so stupid." He shrugged. "You can just call me Captain Usopp, Brave Warri- ACK!"
Zoro had caught Usopp in a headlock and was noogying the heck out of him.
"Ugh-Zor- AH! St-stop! Owch!"
"Having fun?" interjected Sanji from the open kitchen door.
"Hell y- no," replied Zoro, having relinquished the unhappy sharpshooter. "But I still won, even with your dumb dinosaur person." He directed his attention back to Usopp.
"Well yeah, by two points," Nami teased. "Way to go, Master Swordsman. I bow down before your mad scribble interpretation skills."
"Nami-swan is so cute when she's being sarcastic!" swooned Sanji. "Pirate monkeys! Lunchtime!"
"Finally, took long enough."
"Thank you, Sanji-kun."
"Lets get some grub"
"So it's like carrot soup with smoked bluerice noodles and goza fish? That's something I've never tried before. Smells good. He might be a second rate cook, but he sure is creative."
"Oh ho, were my ears deceiving me, or did the shitty swordsman give me a compliment just now?"
"You know cook, I think I gave the exact same 'compliment' to a complete moron once. Man, did his ego go flying, though."
Sword and shoe whizzed through the air at the same moment and met in the middle. "Shut up and eat your food, you #$$."
"Sanji-kun! When you curse it upsets me! Please don't!" called Nami with an overly exaggerated innocent look.
Usopp started. There it goes again. Nami. She had been at least slightly un-Nami-like all day.
Nami had supreme power over Sanji's actions, and sometimes used that power to make him do things to her advantage. She used it when he had gotten mad at Usopp on the baratie, to break up the fight. That was just for fun, to test out her newfound influence, Usopp thought.
But this was long since then, and she just made Sanji refrain from cursing. What was up with that? Usually she didn't mind an innapropriate word or two, as long as no one disturbed her when she was trying to concentrate. So... why? Abduction via aliens didn't seem like the reason anymore.
Luffy's hand suddenly lashed out and grabbed onto his soup bowl, and Usopp stabbed it with his fork.
"Dangit Luffy, that's mine!"
"But you weren't EATING it..." pouted their captain.
"He's right, Usopp. What's up? You've been staring at Nami funny." pointed out Zoro, who was leaning back with his arms crossed, having finished his meal.
"Huh? Have I? ...Oh! I remember now. I was looking at that barrel behind her." Usopp pointed to the corner. "I thought I saw something interesting in the wood pattern. It kind of looked like a picture Luffy drew earlier."
Everyone stared at him. Except Luffy, he took advantage of the situation to steal everyone's food.
"...What? It does!" he said indignantly.
"Usopp..." Sanji ventured, "Either you just told the truth-"
"Or," continued Zoro, "just told such a good lie that we would have believed you-"
"-if you ever actualy told the truth. Which you never do." finished Sanji.
"So what? Maybe I'm just better at lying than you thought!" He struck his Brave Warrior pose.
"Probably not." all four of them said in unison.
His face fell. "Well, does it really matter?"
"No, guess not." Zoro shrugged before leaning back again and going to sleep.
The ship lurched suddenly to the left and sent everyone tumbling. Zoro had his sword out and was running out the kitchen door before anyone could get up. Sanji and Luffy were right behind him.
"What was that!"
"I don't- The heck?" Zoro stopped in mid-sentence to stare at what had come into view.
A huge marine ship, at least five times bigger than the Going Merry, had rammed into the pirate ship with enough force to kill a whale. When the ship had stopped rocking, a small round object flew from the marines to the Going Merry's deck, and exploded.
"Duck!" shouted Sanji, and the three of them only just managed not to get hit by the metal shards that lodged themselves in the wood.
"Come on now," called Zoro, "Do you marines really think a little... bomb would... kill us...?" He frowned and rubbed his head, as if to clear a headache. He quickly turned to the others. "D... don't... breathe the..."
He stumbled and dropped his sword.
Luffy was about to say something, but Sanji stopped him, his sleeve pressed over his nose and mouth. Luffy looked at Sanji and frowned. Sanji shook his head.
Zoro was on his knees, coughing. "Get... in... s...side... Go!"
Just as he shouted the last word, marine soldiers came streaming down from the bigger ship, but...
They were all wearing gas masks.
"Come on, get in here! Sanji and Luffy!" Usopp's muffed shout, from behind a dish rag, ushered them to get out of danger, at least for the moment.
Luffy struggled none too quietly, but Sanji held on to him and ran for the kitchen door.
"Sanji, put me down! We gotta get Zoro! Sanji! Stop it!"
He flew through the door and bolted it, panting even though he hardly got to do anything.
Luffy coughed slightly and glared at Sanji. "Why did you do that! We have to get Zoro and fight those marines!"
"Because!" the cook yelled, quite anoyed. "That bomb they threw put poison in the air, do you get it? Zoro got sick like that because he breathed it in. It's like what happened on the Baratie, Luffy. That's why he told us to get inside!"
"So we gotta go get him!" Luffy stood, breathing heavily, and bashed the door open before anyone could stop him. He flew outside and fought off the marines, some of whom had started to carry Zoro off to their ship.
Nami, Usopp and Sanji glanced at each other, before following in Luffy's footsteps and blasting onto the deck.
While the others fought below, Usopp scrambled up the rigging as fast as he could while still holding his breath. Once he got to the crow's nest, he took a huge gulp of fresh air. He was right; the gas didn't reach all the way up here.
He took out his slingshot and started to do his job; he sniped off at least three dozen marine soldiers with his pachinko stars. But they kept coming, and they weren't exactly easy to kill. It was hard to get a good angle, too, from way up here... And sometimes, he missed? What was up with that? He never missed.
He coughed into his arm. Was it just him, or was everyone staying still? His nakama didn't seem to be moving... and the marines were.
He could see the uniforms, with the large "JUSTICE" emblazoned on the backs, swimming around like little fishies... Swimming? That wasn't right. Alot of things weren't right, Usopp thought as the world started spinning and he dropped his slingshot.
He leaned over the wall of the crow's nest for support; he could hardly stand. First Nami was acting wierd, and now these dumb marines come and now he's coughing too hard to feel the pain... Maybe he was leaning too far forward. But that was the least of his worries.
"Off to Neverland" was the last thing he could think before blacking out and plummeting towards the deck, his decent ending with a sickening thud.
To Be Continued...
First chapter's up, folks! Don't be shocked! Not all is what it seems. There is always a happy ending.